Kevin Love Would Be Surprised if Timberwolves Miss the Playoffs

by September 20, 2012

Kevin Love applied considerable pressure on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ front-office to improve the roster over the summer, citing his impatience with the team’s development. Love must be pleased with the direction of the franchise, given that he expects the T-Wolves to qualify for the postseason this year. From the Portland Tribune: “Entering his fifth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love hasn’t had a sniff of the postseason. Minnesota, in fact, has finished fifth and last in the Northwest Division in each of his four seasons. That could change in 2012-13 as the Timberwolves have beefed up a roster that has their Western Conference competition on notice. ‘It will be a big surprise to me if we didn’t make a huge leap this year and make it to the playoffs,’ the Lake Oswego native said. With Hall of Fame-to-be coach Rick Adelman and rookie phenom Ricky Rubio at point guard,the Timberwolves nearly made it there a year ago. They were 21-19, but a game later, Rubio was lost for the season with an ACL knee injury. Thus began a progression of injuries that saw the Wolves without their top five scorers — including Love — at one point. They went into free-fall, losing 13 of their last 14 games to finish 26-40. That’s all in the rear-view mirror now. During the offseason, General Manager David Kahn bolstered a returning nucleus of Love, Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Wesley Johnson and Derrick Williams by signing free agents Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Greg Stiemsma and Russian guard Alexey Shved and trading a first-round pick for Chase Budinger. ‘We’re going to have a chance to be very good,’ Love said. ‘We’re hoping Brandon can stay healthy through 82 games. Kirilenko is a big addition. Shved hopefully is going to be a big deal for us. We’ll have more firepower in terms of veterans. Brandon and Andrei will help our locker room and on the court. It will make Coach Adelman’s job a lot easier. If everything is put together, if Ricky comes back healthy, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.’”