Wolves Share Thoughts On Love's Possibility To Start All-Star Game

Wolves Share Thoughts On Love's Possibility To Start All-Star Game





Ronny Turiaf was candid—as always—when asked at Wednesday’s shootaround about Kevin Love’s position in the Western Conference front court All-Star voting. Currently Love sits fourth on the ballot behind Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin with 11 days left to vote.

And as it stands, Love currently is second in the NBA in scoring (26.4 ppg), second in rebounding (13.3 rpg), first in double-doubles (29), tied for sixth in 3-pointers made per game (2.6) and fifth in free-throw attempts per game (7.7).

Which, for Turiaf, begs the question…

“It’s like, what more can he do?” Turiaf said. “I mean, the guy is second in scoring...Putting us in a position to succeed, so I mean, I’m at a loss for words just for everyone else.”

As of the last NBA ballot returns, Love sat about 22, 000 votes behind Griffin for that third and final spot. The Timberwolves are putting together a push over these last 11 days to try and get Love voted in as a starter for the first time in his career. Love previously went to the All-Star Game in 2011 and 2012 after being selected by the coaches around the league. As you recall, Love won the 3-point contest at the 2012 All-Star Game in Orlando—beating out Kevin Durant with a late push.

This would be a bit different.

“Obviously it means a lot when the coaches pick you as a reserve,” Love said. “It means you have a lot of respect around the league. But to be an All-Star starter, you kind of have the best of both worlds. The fans are who you play for. Fans have been great here.”

Statistically, Love is putting together his finest season to date and is arguably playing better than anyone else at his position this season. Love continues to put up statistics we’ve rarely seen over the past 20-30 years. He’s keeping himself near the top of all major offensive statistical categories, and he’s improving his own game from as a leader and a facilitator. His 4.3 assists per game not only are the most of his career, but he’s also leading all power forwards in that category. That goes along with also leading all power forwards in points and rebounding.

He’s gained notoriety within the NBA as being arguably the best power forward in the game. If you ask Robert Horry, as I did last year at All-Star Weekend, he said, “We have this debate all the time: Who is the best power forward in the league? I go with Kevin Love all the time. That’s just my opinion. Other guys might get made, but I love the way this guy plays. He can go out there and get you 20 and 20 every night. He can stretch the defense. He can get you rebounds. There isn’t too much of anything he can’t do.”

That same weekend in Houston, Sam Cassell had similar compliments about Love’s game.

“You’ve got the Love Doctor, you’ve got a chance to win every night,” Cassell said. “We haven’t had a power forward that can shoot the 3 ball and rebound the way he rebounds in a long time….I saw him play last year; they sent Kevin Love out on a last-second shot to shoot a 3. That don’t happen [for power forwards].”

For his current teammates, Love is the anchor every night. They get to see him play every day in practice and in games, and they know what he can do.

“Obviously I’m biased, but I think there’s no question he should be,” forward Robbie Hummel said. “You look at the stats he puts up, the numbers he gets with rebounds and points, there’s no question in my mind he deserves to be a starter in the All-Star Game.”

Ricky Rubio agreed.

“He deserves it—he’s playing awesome,” Rubio said. “It’s something that everybody is saying. He should be an All-Star.”

For Love, to be in New Orleans as an All-Star for the third time in four years would be an honor in itself. To be voted in would make this year’s game that much more special.

“The fans have done a great job—I thank them for that,” Love said. “The organization is definitely making a good push. I appreciate all the help, and if not hopefully I can play myself there.”


For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.