Kevin Love vs. Timberwolves PFs: A way too early comparison


After a slow start, the Cleveland Cavaliers are starting to get hot.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, on the other hand, have been about as cold as the Twin Cities will be in one month’s time. These two teams, of course, will forever be intertwined due to the monstrosity of a trade completed over the summer that centered around Kevin Love and Andrew Wiggins.

With Love’s new team likely bound for the postseason, it appears to be a good bet that Number 0 will experience the NBA playoffs for the first time in his career. The Wolves, meanwhile, crippled by the devastating early season injury to Love’s former partner in crime, Ricky Rubio, look like an early candidate for a lottery pick in next year’s NBA draft.

But how has Love been playing thus far in his new home? Is he carrying his load as one of the members of the Cavs’ “Big Three” or has his team’s improved play been courtesy of  LeBron James and company?

Let’s take a look at a way too early comparison of the former Minnesota superstar with current Wolves power forwards Thaddeus Young and Anthony Bennett.

Kevin Love

  • The Cavs are 5-3 and Love has started all eight contests so far.
  • Love has recorded four double-doubles.
  • He’s played a total of 295 minutes and shot 40 of 106 from the field (.377 FG%.)
  • He’s shot 19 of 49 on three-pointers (.388 3P%.)
  • He’s made 38 out of 46 free throws (.826 FT%.)
  • He’s pulled down 82 total rebounds, including 12 offensive boards.
  • K-Love has 20 assists, six steals, and two blocks thus far and has scored 137 points in the young season.

Per game stats: 36.9 MPG, 5/13.3 FG per game, 2.4/6.1 3P per game, 4.8/5.8 FT per game, 10.3 REB (1.3 offensive), 2.5 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.3 BLK, 17.1 PTS

Thad Young

The Wolves are 2-7 and Young has started seven games so far. They are 2-5 when Thad plays.

Nov 8, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young (33) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) defends the play during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 102-92. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Young has recorded one double-double.

He’s played a total of 222 minutes and shot 43 of 96 from the field (.448 FG%.)

He’s shot six of 11 on three-pointers (.545 3P%.)

He’s made eight of 12 free throws (.667 FT%.)

He’s pulled down 35 total rebounds, including 11 offensive boards.

Young has 11 assists, 11 steals, and three blocks thus far and has scored 100 points in the season.

Per game stats: 31.7 MPG, 6.1/13.7 FG per game, 0.9/1.6 3P per game, 1.1/1.7 FT per game, 5.0 REB (1.6 offensive), 1.6 AST, 1.6 STL, 0.4 BLK, 14.3 PTS

Anthony Bennett

  • Bennett has started one game so far. They are 2-6 when he plays.
  • Bennett has not recorded any double-doubles.
  • He’s played a total of 114 minutes and shot 19 of 36 from the field (.528 FG%.)
  • He has not attempted a three-pointer yet this season.
  • He’s made nine out of 12 free throws (.750 FT%.)
  • He’s pulled down 26 total rebounds, including two offensive boards.
  • Bennett has nine assists, two steals, and five blocks thus far and has scored 47 points in the season.

Per game stats: 14.3 MPG, 2.4/4.5 FG per game, 1.1/1.5 FT per game, 3.0 REB (0.3 offensive), 1.1 AST, 0.3 STL, 0.6 BLK, 5.9 PTS

Now, obviously a straight up statistical comparison between Love and the two primary power forwards on the Wolves is far from the only tool to see just how much Flip Saunders’ team is missing K-Love.

Things to consider with this comparison include (but are not limited to): 1) Thad has sat out the last two games due to the death of his mother, 2) neither Thad or Bennett are the kind of caliber player that Love is, 3) the trio of players each have a very different skill set and style of play.

There are many, many other reasons as to why you cannot simply view the player’s (very early) season stats and make some sort of conclusion that the Wolves are better or worse in the long run without Love. That question is going to take time – months, if not years to discover.

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