Last night was the first preseason game for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they try to put the injury filled, nightmare that was last season, behind them. Their opponent for the first night of NBA basketball in the Target Center this year, was CSKA Moscow, the former team of T’Wolves guard Alexy Shved.
Taking the court for the first time since January, was Kevin Love; the leader and best player of this T’ Wolves team. Love’s rebounding and offensive ability was sorely missed last year, as he only played in 17 games. He was certainly not the only player to get injured from last year’s Timberwolves squad, but there’s no question he was the most important.
Back in action last night, Love showed glimpses of why he is so important to Minnesota’s hopes of making a return to the playoffs this season. In just 28 minutes, Love put up 9 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. A solid all-around game that is surely just a step towards Love regaining his spot as a top post player in the game.
Usually it is his rebounding that gets people talking, but one of those 5 assists that Love dished out was the most memorable moment he provided last night. With Ricky Rubio dribbling on the right wing, Love flashed to the top of the key, catching a pass from the young Spanish point guard. As he caught the pass, Kevin Martin made a back-cut towards the basket off Love’s right side. Facing away from the basket, Love threw a no-look, behind-the-back bounce pass that Martin caught right in stride to lay in for two.
It was a beautiful look that caught everyone on defense sleeping, and showed how versatile of a player Love can be. In the end however, Love and company were defeated by CSKA Moscow, 108-106 in overtime.
If you have any suggestions for a pass we should consider, contact me on Twitter (@jmaloney9) or by email at maloneyj(at)xavier.edu.