Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has more versatility in his game than a multi-tool, but he had only one career triple-double entering March 28. Now he's tripled that number of triple-doubles after hanging 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on the Memphis Grizzlies in Wednesday's 102-88 win.
Kevin Love! 24 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. 3rd career triple double and 2nd in the past 4 games!— Basketball Forever (@Bballforeverfb) April 3, 2014
Love hooked up with Kevin Martin on a jump shot with 3:56 remaining in the game for his 10th dime and third career triple-double. Martin finished with 21 points.
The triple-double merely added to Love's already impressive season of 26.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.3 assists per game. Perhaps Ricky Rubio has given him some tips on dishing assists, but Love has always thrown a pretty outlet pass worthy of a Minnesota Vikings quarterback.
Love tallied his second career triple-double in the T-Wolves' 143-107 romp over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 28. He required just 29 minutes to notch 22 points, 10 boards and 10 dimes. He just missed another one on March 23 and finished the loss to the Phoenix Suns with 36 points, 14 boards and nine assists.
The first triple-double of Love's career came recently as well, in a February 22 win over the Utah Jazz.
He gave his reaction to the career-first to reporters after the game, saying, per the Associated Press via ESPN: "I thought at some point it would happen. I've been very close. Happy it was tonight and more happy we got the win. This is one I'll definitely remember."
#Twolves Kevin Love's three triple-doubles this year tied with Joakim Noah, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant for 2nd-most in NBA (Stephenson 4).— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 3, 2014
#Twolves Kevin Love moves into a tie with Ricky Rubio for most triple-doubles in franchise history (3). Kevin Garnett had 19.— Andy Greder (@twolvesnow) April 3, 2014
At 25 years old and in his sixth season, Love will likely find himself out of the postseason once again. Even with the win, Minnesota is 6.5 games out of eighth place with eight games to play. At 37-37, only six teams in the East have a higher winning percentage, but it's only good enough for 10th place in the West.
According to ShamSports.com, Love has a player option in his contract for the 2015-16 season, and there are plenty of teams eager to acquire his services—which include nightly double-doubles, effective three-point shooting and apparently deft passing on a level he's never reached before.
With Love's range and rebounding prowess, if he starts passing like Joakim Noah, he will be unstoppable.