I had a phone conversation with Rick Adelman earlier this season in which he stressed the importance of the Minnesota Timberwolves making it out of the month of March with some semblance of a shot at making a late push for the playoffs.
Well, April is almost here, the Timberwolves are still within striking distance of .500, and if they could somehow string together a four-game winning streak (they haven’t had one all season, although they have had four three-game winning streaks) they are going to put themselves in position to make a late push for the No. 8 spot in the West.
The primary reason for this unlikely (as noted in Thursday morning’s NBA roundup, the Timberwolves were 100 games under .500 the past two seasons) success story is Kevin Love, who is back in the MVP debate after what can be best described as an uberprolific month.
His latest standout effort included a 14-point, six-rebound fourth quarter in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats in which Love totaled 40 points and 19 rebounds in an 88-83 win. He is fourth in the NBA in scoring and second in rebounding. There are zero active players who have finished in the top five in both categories in the same season. The list of players who have done it includes names like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob McAdoo, Moses Malone and Shaquille O’Neal.
Every year the NBA sends out MVP ballots with about a week left in the regular season, and most writers (this one excepted) send them back to the league office while there are still a few games remaining. This year, I imagine there may be a few other media members waiting until the last minute to cast their votes, because if the Timberwolves somehow make it to the postseason, there is no way Love cannot get serious consideration for the NBA’s premier individual award.
In this video chat with CineSport’s Tara Petrolino, we also discuss the Orlando Magic’s proclivity for losing big when they lose — “mind-boggling” was the way Stan Van Gundy described it after their 22-point loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night — and take a look at the Oklahoma City’s upcoming tough schedule with games against the Lakers, Bulls and Heat in the next week.