Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
There was no glove for Kevin Love as he put together a monster performance against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night managing 23 points and 24 rebounds in 43+ minutes of action in leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to victory.
It's safe to say that the fifth-year center out of UCLA has come off of the fantasy sidelines and is back to full strength to the chagrin of fantasy owners who didn't have a draft pick high enough to select him as their fantasy franchise player this season.
Love played in Tuesday night's game without the brace on his shooting hand that had been hampering his shot in the first three games of his return. Considering that with the fact that he also played over 40 minutes in a game for the first time this year, you could argue it was his best game of the season (although he did manage 34 points and 14 rebounds in his season debut in just over 34 minutes on the floor)
Given how much Love talked about wanting to be in the playoffs with the Timberwolves after a successful stint at the Olympics in London, it's nice to see him playing so well and fantasy owners could see his numbers jump to another level once point guard Ricky Rubio returns from a knee injury suffered in the middle of last season, especially now that the T'Wolves have the complimentary parts necessary to compete for a playoff spot on an annual basis.
All of this optimism does come with a little bit of a disclaimer in the short term at least, as Love is well below his career average from the free-throw line, where he is currently shooting below 70% and normally averages about 80%. He's also not yet found his range from beyond the arc, shooting a considerably low 20.7% so far this season (with a career average of 36.6%).
The good news is you can blame all of that on conditioning and getting up to speed, and once Love does that, he'll be in the running for fantasy MVP this year, and he could even lead the Timberwolves deep into the playoffs for the first time since the days of Kevin Garnett and Latrell Sprewell.
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