Love quiet in return from neck injury (Oct 20 12:00 ET )
Kevin Love (neck) returned to action in Monday's preseason game against the Bulls, scoring nine points on 2-of-10 shooting (0-for-5 3PTs) with 13 rebounds, three assists and no steals or blocks in 35 minutes.
The Scoop: Timing and cohesion will be early issues and owners shouldn't read into these results too much. Love is still a worth drafting later in the first round, despite the potential impact of his new big-time teammates or any potential injury risk.
The Scoop:The fact that he is playing in an exhibition bodes well for his status as his neck injury may have made his prospective fantasy owners nervous. Love is fine, and you can safely draft him inside the first round. However, expect a slight dip in his numbers across the board due to his new role on the Cavs.
The Scoop:The team has said Love is fine, so there's no reason to panic. He'll be ready to go for the regular season and should be back on the practice court next week. Love's role is going to change, so he's not the high-end first round pick he was while with the Wolves.
The Scoop:Love returned to the court after originally suffering his injury, but asked to be removed from the game during the second quarter and did not return after half time. Blatt said that he hopes Love will be available for Friday's exhibition against the Mavericks, so this shouldn't change fantasy owners' perception of the big man as a first-round draft pick.
Questions are rightfully being reviewed as to how, exactly, we should expect this team to handle its young superstars. Knockout, ready-to-contribute lottery performers are often given the run of the box-score minutes because their talents, and eventually their numbers, dictate as much. These players are also almost always 19 or 20 years old, working on a terrible squad with little help, and forced into big responsibilities right away. We’re not saying that humping in the high 30s minutes-wise is the reason Derrick Rose suffered two freak knee injuries or that Kevin Durant is on the pine with a scary stress fracture, but it’s worth wondering about. We doubt very much that Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders cares about this as he enters his second stint running the team from the sidelines. He came to Minnesota to attempt to push a young team over the top over two years ago, just as he attempted to do in Washington a few years before, dealing and signing win-now talent in the hopes of keeping Kevin Love. The moves failed and Love forced a trade out of Minnesota, though, and the team was sent the last two No. 1 NBA draft picks in Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett as collateral. Rookie Zach LaVine is around, as is raw but promising (the former more than the latter, sadly) Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad. The Timberwolves haven’t made the playoffs since their championship hopes fell due to injury in the spring of 2004, and this is the second time in recent memory that they had to unload a superstar – possibly too late in both instances. Both turnabouts were also hamstrung by the work of David Kahn in between the deals for Kevins Garnett and Love, as he turned the cap space and presence of Al Jefferson (taken from the KG deal) and frittered them away, while infuriating Love with his insulting contract offer to the stud, plus the terrible draft picks and deals, as the losses piled up. Kahn has been gone for two years now, but we’ve little idea as to whether or not Saunders and ostensible general manager Milt Newton will be a massive improvement. They lucked out in acquiring Wiggins and Bennett for Love, but only because a previously terrible Cavaliers organization lucked into drafting them – and that team may have blown the Bennett selection. After a coaching search that seemed dubious from the start, Saunders hired himself to run the team from the bench , a choice that was followed by a collective groan from NBA followers used to this sort of move failing badly. Beyond the clash of coaching/front office interests is the worry that Saunders’ offense is a bit outmoded in the paint/free throws/3-pointers-era of efficient NBA ball. The man likes his 19-footers, and he doesn’t exactly have the personnel to shoot them. This roster is a bit of a mess, but if Saunders and Newton are adept at dealing, this can be cleared up. The final four years and nearly $48 million left on Nikola Pekovic’s contract may not look as bad next summer, even if his defense puts a team in peril. Each of the team’s cornerstones are on (albeit large, for the former Cavs) rookie contracts, and even an eight-figure yearly deal potentially tossed Ricky Rubio’s way in the next two weeks doesn’t sound all that bad once you figure in projected future bumps to the salary cap. Holdovers signed by a giddy Saunders two years ago will complicate the cap picture next summer, though. Back to Wiggins. He’s raw, but he’ll get his reps. He’ll get his chance to shine, and he’ll get his chance to go 1-for-11 and worry all of us. With a hopefully happy Rubio running the show, the Timberwolves will be perfect League Pass fodder for all of us hoop nerds. They’ll also have the worst record in their conference.
The Scoop:He only logged 21 minutes on Tuesday, leaving for good soon after bumping knees with Jabari Parker in the third quarter, but the injury isn't a concern for the Cavs. Love has been terrific all preseason, easing concerns about his production alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving while solidifying himself as a mid-first-round pick.
The Scoop:Love immediately asked out of the game after getting "banged up" and was said to be favoring his neck and back. He also didn't return to start the second half, nor did he ever make it to the bench, as far as we know. While this is concerning, we're guessing we'll have more details on the injury soon. For now, don't drop him down your draft boards until we have more information.
Kevin Love left Wednesday's game with a neck injury, which is not thought to be serious.
The Scoop:It sounds like Love is fine, but his hot streak was stopped tonight. He hit just 1-of-6 shots for five points, four rebounds, two assists and no 3-pointers. Love has dinged up his knee and his neck in his last two games, and came in on fire, hitting 17-of-23 shots and 9-of-12 3-pointers prior to tonight's line. Despite the early minor injuries, he's good to go on draft night.
Kevin Love hit 8-of-11 shots and five more 3-pointers for 25 points, four rebounds and two assists on Tuesday, but also banged his right knee during the game.
The Scoop:He's been absolutely lights-out with his shooting over the last two preseason games, hitting 17-of-23 shots and 9-for-12 3-pointers. He's expected to play on Wednesday despite his sore knee, and his draft stock appears to be rising, although keep in mind LeBron James sat this one out.
Oct 14 12:00 ET
News (various sources)
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