Simmons on Love/Rubio:
"Anyone who voted for Griffin over Love needs to start watching League Pass instead of SportsCenter highlights; Love has been the best power forward in either conference, and by the way, haven't we all wanted to step on Luis Scola's face at least once? "
"Having an NBA All-Star Game without Ricky Rubio is like having a hot dog without mustard or ketchup. It can't happen again. Let's make this the last time. Please."
"When will Love demand a trade to the Lakers?"
'According to Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kevin Love missed practice on Tuesday due to a left knee contusion.
"Love had MRI," he tweeted. "There was some swelling. More will be known [Wednesday]."
Love broke Moses Malone's consecutive double-double streak on Monday night against the Mavs (51 games), but if he misses any time, it could put the streak in jeopardy.
It's possible Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Randolph could see more playing time if Love misses any games.'
"Kevin Love, Timberwolves: Virtually every list I've seen has placed Love on the All-Star team, which may lead people to think he's a shoo-in. Actually, I'm dubious. For starters, there's the long-held bias against players from teams with losing records that I mentioned above.
But in Love's case, a larger bias is at work. Since I presume most of you don't regularly talk with scouts and assistant coaches, I can't emphasize this enough: It is shocking how dismissive virtually every old-school basketball type is of Love. Most personnel types grudgingly admit he's a spectacular rebounder before adding that he's unathletic, struggles on defense and basically doesn't fit their prototype of what a star big man ought to be.
Even his own coach was indifferent toward him for 10 games until the first 30-30 game in a quarter-century clued him in to the fact that Love might be pretty good. Since these are the people doing the voting, and since Love already faces an uphill battle thanks to his non-reclining middle seat aboard Kahn Air, I'm not sure if he's getting in.
I should point out that there is some validity to the scout-speak -- Love is a subpar defender and he can't consistently get his own shot. Nonetheless, it would be unprecedented to leave out a player with such spectacular individual accomplishments. Love has a whopping two-board lead on the field in the chase for the rebound title; additionally, he's shooting 44.5 percent on 3s, and scores at a phenomenal rate (23.5 points per 40 minutes) for a guy who never has plays called for him. The T-wolves may stink, but it's tough to pin that on him. In fact, I'd argue it hurts him -- by my calculations, Sota's soft defense costs Love nearly half a defensive rebound per game."
There also were some rumbles in Boise that the Timberwolves are prepared to start exploring the trade market for Al Jefferson amid questions about Jefferson's compatability with Kevin Love and how he fits in Minnesota's more free-flowing triangle offense under new coach Kurt Rambis. A case can be made that either Jefferson or Love -- undeniably good players individually who are still both developing -- would be helped greatly by playing next to a more athletic sidekick no matter what the system.
When we checked it out, though, one source with knowledge of the Wolves' thinking insisted any such rumblings about the centerpiece of Minnesota's Kevin Garnett trade with Boston in July 2007 are off target and Big Al is staying put.
The consistent message out of 'Sota has been that any significant changes are on hold until after this season at the earliest, when the Wolves will rely on a possible $13 million in salary-cap space to console themselves following a painful first season for Rambis and new team president David Kahn.