The Minnesota TImberwolves should shut down Kevin Love because their season is over. Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr.com
Kevin Love is still recuperating from a fractured right hand. He suffered the injury in a Jan. 3 game against the Indiana Pacers. It is in the best interest for the Minnesota Timberwolves to shut down Kevin Love.
It wouldn’t make sense for the 24-year-old Love to come back to finish the season. The Timberwolves’ record is 25-44, last in the Northwest Division. They are destined for the lottery and have a slim chance to make an impact in the final stretch.
Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Love will have his hand re-examined and evaluated in New York. If cleared, Love would return to the Timberwolves for the last 13 games. Truthfully, it would be a terrible idea for Love to return at this time.
The Timberwolves are destined for the lottery because of the playoff standings. They are 11 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers and need to pass the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and the Utah Jazz. Minnesota will face the Jazz twice, on April 12 at Utah and a home game on April 15. They would need all four teams to lose every remaining game while running the table themselves. Chances of that happening are very slim.
It would be a huge risk to send Love back on the court. Keep in mind this is the same hand he broke during the Summer Olympics. Love has only played 18 games this season, averaging 18.3 points and 14 rebounds per game. He is a presence crashing the boards and is arguably the best power forward in the game today. Playing him now would be disastrous for both sides.
Love’s contract has an opt-out clause in 2014-15. It’s important the Timberwolves keep Love happy, which includes not forcing Love to return early. As of now, Love wants to stay in Minnesota. Nothing is ever set in cement and plans do change.
Love will be 26 when his option arrives. If Love aggravates the injury more because the Timberwolves rush his recovery, he’s gone. The Timberwolves need to manage Love’s injury carefully. Love may want to come back this year, but the Timberwolves should deter his return and shut him down for the remainder of the season. Love and Ricky Rubio provide a sound nucleus from which to build upon for this team. What’s at stake here is if Love rushes his recovery and reinjures his hand, the Timberwolves can kiss those dreams goodbye.