Finally healthy, Wolves' Kevin Love says he is having fun again
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Almost exactly one year ago, Kevin Love watched his once promising season start to unravel before it had begun, spoiled by a broken right hand that would cause him problems all year.
Love doesn't want to talk about last season anymore, and one really can't blame him for that.
Yes, his bum hand is no longer an issue. Yes, he is healthy and ready to go.
The Timberwolves All-Star forward certainly appears that way. From brief glimpses during practice and in the Wolves' first four preseason games, Love is putting memories of his injury derailed 2012-13 campaign in the rearview, replacing them with reminders of the potential he and the Wolves showed one year earlier along with an equally healthy Ricky Rubio and Nikola Pekovic.
"Give me a full 82-game slate-plus, I'm ready to play," Love said Thursday after practice.
As the Wolves' starting-five has begun the slow climb towards establishing an efficient chemistry with each other, Love has had arguably the best preseason showing so far, despite the early signs of rust shown by the entire squad.
Love dropped 20 and 28 points in the Wolves' pair of games against Toronto, and was one of the sparse positives to come out of an unmistakably lackluster loss to the Raptors last Saturday.
When evaluating his starting lineup, coach Rick Adelman said Love's upgraded on-court presence makes for one less player that he has to concern himself with.
"I don't worry too much about him," Adelman said. "If he's healthy he's going to be a real factor."
It was hard to tell from a few early preseason media sessions with Love, but his injury-free return, plus a strong cast around him, is allowing him to finally enjoy himself again on the court.
"We've got a bunch of guys who talk a lot of trash. It makes practice really fun," Love said. "There's never a dull moment. That helps us. It helps both units stay together and want to fight everyday. It makes for a really, really fun time."
Love will likely play significant minutes in the Wolves' next preseason game -- a road trip Sunday to Montreal to face the Boston Celtics. Adelman has expressed a desire to keep Love and Rubio on the court together as much as possible.
How Sunday's game goes will better determine Adelman's plan for Love and the rest of the starters in the back to back games the Wolves conclude the preseason with next Wednesday and Thursday.