Dear Wolves Marketing:
Please start selling Kevin Love. Please see the attached video for a suggestion about how local sports franchises actually feature their players in TV ads. The ad practically writes itself: Nick Punto and Michael Cuddyer are sitting in a ice shanty on a lake watching video of Kevin Love grabbing rebound after rebound after rebound. Cuddy looks over to Punto and says something along the line of "Winter piranhas, who knew?" Fade to black and a sign that says "Come see the Big Piranha." Show the ticket hot line and cut!
Moving on, last night's post game show contained something of a big moment for the FSN crew. During the game wrap, analyst (and fellow former Bloomington Kennedy Eagle) Mike McCallow said something that we here at Hoopus have been saying since the latter part of last season: Kevin Love is the best player on this team. Yes. Yes, yes, yes, and more yes.
I know we're in danger of getting repetitive on this point, but the reason why Kevin Love is the best player on the Wolves is simple: He does the most stuff. Last night he was 9-14 from the floor with 16 boards (5 offensive) and 20 points. He controlled the defensive glass, he started fast breaks, he sealed off defenders for easy angles to the bucket for the team's guards, and he even ran a successful 1-on-1 fast break against Tyreke Evans. Al Jefferson can be the best post scorer in the league but that's probably all he could ever be. Love's impact on the game won't be as deep in a single area, but it will be much, much, much wider. When this team gets good (and it will), Kevin Love is going to be its MVP. He will be a much larger-scaled version of what Ozzie Guillen talked about here:
"That's special stuff over there," Guillen said of the Twins club. "All those guys, they don't have big money or big stars, but the way they go about their business is awesome. That's why I call them the little piranhas, because they beat you to death. I would rather someone hit a home run with the bases loaded in the ninth rather then get murdered little by little. Those guys bite you little by little and, all of a sudden, you wake up and you are dead."
Instead of extra bases and hard slides, Love will bite the other teams with hard screens, impossible tips to teammates, and outlet passes. Each one won't seem like much all by itself, but at the end of the day, someone is going to wake up dead. And yes, that's one of the best sports quotes of the decade. Thank you Ozzie.
A few notes from the game:
- Why on earth did the Kings not roll with their large front court lineup of Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson? Did the Kings' coaching staff not see what they did to Love and Jefferson last weekend?
- Tyreke Evans is a dominant physical presence but he's going to have to figure out what to do on nights when his shot isn't falling.
Sasha Pavlovic is not an NBA player right now. His worst play last night was when Kevin Love screened off a wide-open angle to the lane for Pavs and instead of going right up with the layup he went under the rim and was forced to pass it off. It's almost like he's forgotten the basic language of basketball...if that makes sense.
- Another win, another solid wing performance. How much more evidence do we need that the Wolves need a solid (and consistent) wing player more than anything else?
That does it for tonight. Bottom line: Kevin Love + competent wing and point play = W.