Tough news concerning the Wolves’ Kevin Love. The Wolves practice report speculated (and Flip Saunders later confirmed), the Wolves will be Love-less when they face the Miami Heat Saturday night at the Target Center.
The unfortunate news that Love’s maternal grandmother passed away on Wednesday night leaves the power forward’s status on Saturday uncertain.
“I wouldn’t think he’d be able to play tomorrow,” said assistant coach Terry Porter. “I don’t think he’s probably going to be back… Pretty sure it would be tough for him to get back.”
If Love isn’t able to go, expect Dante Cunningham or Luc Mbah a Moute to start in his place. Whether or not Love will play or not will be a big factor, but another big factor will be the Wolves and whether or not they can stop James. Likely, the MVP will be guarded by Corey Brewer or Mbah a Moute.
Not the most encouraging start to the weekend, but the Heat have appeared more than a little vulnerable with their recent losses against the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons.
The Wolves should be in a good position to counter the Heat’s reliance on small ball — playing LeBron James at power forward — by relying on Nikola Pekovic. Brewer, Cunningham and Moute will get their opportunities, but Pek could prove problematic for the Heat’s traditional front line. There may be a Greg Oden sighting, should Chris Andersen, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem prove too slight or small.
As much as I’d love to rag on the Wolves making things difficult enough on themselves with their plan to cater to horrible NBA fans who will be embarrassing themselves by showing up at Target Center to root for the visiting reigning champions, it’s more important to express condolences to Love and his family and hope they spend time remembering and celebrating their loved one’s life.