Minnesota’s Kevin Love Helped Off The Court
Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves will remain in a Denver hospital overnight Wednesday for observation after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Nuggets player JaVale McGee. Love looked to be in a good amount of pain and stayed down on the floor for a while before being able to walk off with the help of the team’s trainers. Early diagnosis is a mild concussion and a neck sprain.
Only a day after Ricky Rubio met with media for the first time after his knee injury, Love’s injury is just another reminder of how tough this season has been for players in the NBA. While players throughout the league are fighting injuries and fatigue from the lockout shortened season, the injuries to Timberwolves players have come from hard play, hustle and just plain dumb luck. While fans loved to initially blame Kobe Bryant for Rubio’s injury, it is clear his knee buckled before contact was made between the two. Love’s hits the deck in the heat of battle in the post.
It happens and it is unfortunate, especially after the Timberwolves were able to give their fans a glimmer of hope for the future early this season.
Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has made it clear in recent weeks this team will give no excuses for the remainder of the season. While there have been occasions where it looks as if his team still struggles with the idea of playing hard until the season’s bitter end, they showed a lot of heart tonight in Denver. After being down by 24 at one point—and after losing Love—the team fought back to make the game competitive all the way to the end, eventually losing by just six.
Love’s status is uncertain going forward outside of staying overnight in Denver. The auditions for next season continue and are amplified now. On this one occasion against the Nuggets, Anthony Randolph and Derrick Williams stepped up to lead the team back to a respectable score after putting a scare into Denver. It was fairly well known before tonight that the only two players on Minnesota’s roster who were locks to be on the team next year were Love and Rubio. In these final games, are there any players who want to step up significantly and show Adelman they want to be considered in the same company?
There is still time to change opinions somewhat if the player is currently considered “on the bubble.”
What do you think, Timberwolves fans? Should anyone on the roster feel safe to return next year outside of Love and Rubio? Which player has the best opportunity to change perceptions of them before the season ends?