As noted before Kevin Love has lost 20-25 pounds (down to 240-45 from 265). When asked about the weight loss, Love replied, "I wasn't focused on losing weight, it just kind of shed off." With this, he's more nimble, he's quicker, but ultimately he says, "I'm just in better shape." When Love came out of UCLA and into the League he weighed between 270-75. In the low-240s, Love says this is the lightest he's been since his freshman/sophomore year in high school.
Like most players, Love is definitely ready for the season to start. It's been a long offseason, but Love hopes his teammates get here quick, follow his lead and get back to work.
For a young team with a new coach and just a couple weeks of training camp, the Wolves need to hit the ground running if they want to start the season off on the right foot.
With that new coach, Love obviously hasn't been able to talk with him or any of the new assistants, because of the lockout. However, Love has kept in touch with his teammates. Especially new point guard: Ricky Rubio, because he was on the West Coast playing daily with guys like Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce.
Love is very optimistic and excited for the season to start. They definitely need/want to get off to a good start, which means getting guys to Minneapolis as quickly as possible, so they can start working together and build their chemistry. With such a young team, Love knows they need to get time on the court and start working together, but also being together off the court to get know one another.
The Wolves have some new faces, the first of which are four new players: Ricky Rubio, Malcolm Lee, Derrick Williams & Brad Miller. Love feels the Wolves are very fortunate to get Ricky Rubio & Derrick Williams. With such a young group of guys, there's a lot of electricity with this unit. Love feels they can co-exist and grow together. Love's looking forward to building this team from here on out and a big step in doing that is new head coach: Rick Adelman.
When asked if he's taken time to study and examine the ways he can fit into Adelman's system. Love says he's excited to have Brad Miller in Minnesota and have the opportunity to work and hear from him, seeing how he can facilitate in the offense and play that corner offense and be able to get the ball in the high post, score in the low post and play a lot of pick-and-rolls. With all that, Love feels he won't be limited at all in his offensive skillset. Nor does he feel his teammates are going to be limited on the offensive end. As always, Love feels, Adelman will be able to exploit mismatches and have success much like his heyday with the Sacramento Kings (when Miller was the starting center along with Bibby, Webber & Peja). Love also sited when Adelman coached a Houston Rockets team without Tracy McGrady or Yao Ming that took the eventual NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers to seven games. Ultimately Adelman's a very good coach and Love as well as the rest of the team is looking forward to working for him.
In such an extended offseason, there's a good chance that some guys could show up next week and be completely out of shape. However, Love doesn't see that happening. "We have a young group, so we really don't have an excuse." With a shortened training camp, shortened preseason and of course a shortened season, it'll be condensed into 134 days, which means it's basically every other day. With a schedule coming out Tuesday, Love talked about the news that every team in the NBA will be playing back-to-back-to-back games at least once this season, with the possibility of playing up to three sets of b-t-b-t-b games. Love joked, assuming the Wolves will be one of the teams that play three of them! However, because they're such a young team, Love believes the Wolves can take advantage of that and hopefully catch some of these veteran teams on an off night or very fatigued.
Love knows that with a short amount of time to get acclimated to his teammates and to their new head coach, the Timberwolves will definitely be making some mistakes early on in training camp. Love says, it starts with him and the point guards. The point guards are the guys who have the ball in their hands and they need to be the floor leaders/generals. "Hopefully Luke and Ricky can take the reins and start leading from the point guard up through the center.
Then came a big question, whether or not Love wants to/expects to sign an extension with the Timberwolves. Love is in the final year of his rookie contract and next summer he'll become a restricted free agent, however, Kahn has said he's talked with Love's agent and is open to getting a deal done ASAP. Love, however, is certainly hesitant. "I'm not really sure, that's definitely something I'll talk with my agent about. It hasn't really been brought to my attention yet, something we'll touch on next week, but we'll see." He says, he loves Minneapolis and the Twin Cities (of course he spent his whole summer on the West Coast), however this is the only NBA city he knows, "maybe we'll keep it that way and maybe we won't."
I'm sure we'll be hearing from a few more players as the begin to shuffle in to the Target Center this week. Anthony Randolph was there on Thursday to lift weights, Derrick Williams is expected on Tuesday as is Rubio, who has to first go to Canada to get a work visa before coming to Minnesota (if you live in Minnesota you know of the snowstorm we got this weekend, Ricky will finally get to see snow for the first time in his life, beyond the little bit that accumulates on the mountains in Europe).
That's all for now, thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your Timberwolves news, information and updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
Information for this post came from this video: http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/news/kevin_love_media_availability_2011_12_04.html