The Minnesota Timberwolves made headlines on Wednesday thanks to Kevin Love's last-minute three to send the game into overtime, where the Wolves would eventually triumph over the Orlando Magic. Lost among Love's heroics, however, was the fact that Minnesota nearly lost at home to one of the worst teams in the league.
Tonight's win, though: That was more like it.
The Wolves put forth an exquisite team effort in a 100-81 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The beating Minnesota put on the Thunder tonight was a rare thing indeed—the worst loss for a Thunder team in three years.
There are currently seven undefeated teams left in the NBA, pending the conclusion of San Antonio's game. In that group you have the power clubs, like Indiana and Houston, and the true shockers, like Philadelphia. The Wolves fall right smack-dab in the middle of those two groups.
This team was a real wild card coming into the season, and the 2-0 start has done little to change that perception. Are they the team that struggled to beat bottom-feeders like Orlando at home, or are they the team that dominated a great (albeit wounded) Thunder team?
Many of the team's question marks—Ricky Rubio's shooting, the weak interior defense, an injury bug straight out of the Book of Job—cannot be settled so early in the season. But one thing does seem certain: Kevin Love is back.
The Wolves' star forward suffered through a nightmare season in 2012-13, a season of injuries and inconsistency followed by even more injuries. So far this year, however, he's been putting up numbers better suited to a video game than the best league on the planet: 31 points and 17 rebounds in Game 1, 24 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2.
Love has been all business from the opening press conference of the preseason, when he was described as "ostentatiously curt and terse on anything related to last season," according to MinnPost's Britt Robson.
Love understands that this is a pivotal season for the Wolves franchise, his place in the franchise and his career in general. He is in “talk is cheap” mode. He looks to be in fabulous physical condition and wants his performance to speak for itself.
So far this season, his performance is more than speaking for itself. No matter what troubles the Wolves face this season, a healthy Kevin Love looks to be a constant.