The Minnesota Timberwolves’ doctors confirmed that Kevin Love has broken his hand for the second time this season. He is still deciding whether or not to undergo surgery and he will meet with specialists in New York to discuss it further.
“I certainly think he’ll be out for a number of weeks,” Wolves GM David Kahn said after practice on Monday. “But because we don’t have anything else definitive yet, I can’t say precisely what that means. But a number of weeks is a number of weeks, and yes it’s important for us to try to figure out if there’s something we can do to help alleviate his loss.”
Love missed the first three weeks of the season after breaking his hand in preseason doing pushup workouts. “He’s disappointed,” Kahn said. “I think that so much has happened to him this year that, probably like all of us, my sense is he too is almost disbelieving. It almost seems like somebody made this stuff up.”
Some may think that Love returned too soon. His hand was clearly bothering him throughout most of December, as evidenced by his dropping field goal percentage. He just didn’t look right on the court. Still, the rest of the team will have to step up again in Love’s absence. Point guard Ricky Rubio agrees.
“We know how to play without him, but we will need him,” Rubio said. “He’s an All-Star. He does a lot of things for our team. Now some players have to step up and show why they are here in the NBA.”
Despite the constant and unceasing barrage of injuries that the Wolves have suffered this season, the organization is still thinking playoffs. In fact, they’re not only thinking it, they’re promising it.
In a new ticket sales campaign, the Timberwolves are promising anyone who renews their season tickets or purchases a new one for next season a ten percent discount if the team doesn’t make the playoffs this year. ”It’s sort of a part pledge, part challenge,” Timberwolves chief marketing officer Ted Johnson said.
Minnesota is currently in ninth place trailing the Denver Nuggets for the eight and final playoff spot.
”If you commit to us for next year, we know that part of that is you’re making a commitment to a team that is competitive,” Johnson said. ”We’re in the playoff hunt and our expectation is to challenge for the playoff spot. Just like we’re asking you to make us a commitment now for next season, we’re willing to make a commitment to you.”
While 10% isn’t entirely a bold move by the organization, it is at least a notable consideration. There is a recognition that us Wolves fans have suffered for a long, long time with a below average team. It got old years ago. Now it’s time to put up or shut up (or at least pay it back). It looks as if the organization is willing to do that. At least in part.