The Minnesota Timber wolves currently stand with a 9-9 record, but that truly does not reflect some of the great performances we have seen from some of their impact players. A lot of people often bring up the words "The team is clearly playing better than the record shows" but I am not here to bore you about the entire T-Wolves season or dissect their record so far.
I am here to talk about the exceptional play so far this season by their two Kevin's and possibly one of the top duos in all of the NBA at this very moment: Love and Martin.
KEVIN MARTIN- Through 18 games- (23.1 PPG (7th in NBA), 3.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 42% Shooting)
-Can I hear the word surprise? How many of us actually thought we would see Kevin Martin do this well in the early goings of the 2013-2014 season? Nobody. That totally includes myself as I clearly didn't see this coming either. We all knew Martin has been a standout player before especially when he was in an Oklahoma City uniform.
7th in the league in scoring? Are you kidding me! Last time I checked people weren't even talking about this signing coming out of the 2013 offseason.
Martin currently is one of the biggest sleepers in all of fantasy basketball. In most leagues he went a lot later than most expected and now...now people are regretting not drafting this guy. We all knew he is a scorer and that is obviously the most intriguing part of his stat line...but thats not the only good thing hes doing for this improving Minnesota team.
He isnt the biggest passer or rebounder...but what does he always do? Keep Minnesota in the ball game with his clutch shooting performances.
The T-Wolves have been searching for a reliable 3-point shooter for a long period of time now and it seems as though they have finally found one in Martin. Most of us remember the teams attempt at snagging a 3 point specialist in the 2009 draft in Wayne Ellington...but how did that turn out? Pretty bad. What about Lazar Hayward (traded to Wolves in the 2010 draft)? Hayward is now searching for a job after being waived by the Pelicans in October.
He is easily the best 3-point shooter on the T-Wolves roster (Some will try and argue Kevin Love but that is just truly false) and his stats in the early part of the 2013-2014 season clearly prove the claim. Martin is hitting close to 2.5 3's a game on an average 6 shots taken. That doesnt impress you? How about his .436 3-point percentage? Now I know your impressed.
Martin is proving early that he could be one of the top choices for the most-improved player award. After seeing no starts with OKC last year (77 games off the bench) and now impressing with being a full time starter with the Wolves (averaging close to 35 minutes a game)...one can truly see how great of a pickup Martin was for the rising Minnesota Timberwolves.
After an off year with the Thunder last season it feels like Martin has been born again thanks to being reunited with his former coach Rick Adelman. He has helped Minnesota become a more efficient team. His ability to hit the three at any moment has made the Wolves offense one to fear...and one that could be on their way to the playoffs to the first time in over a decade.
KEVIN LOVE- Through 18 games- (24.1 ppg (4th in NBA), 13.7 rpg (1st in NBA), 4.2 apg, 45% shooting)
-Kevin Love is once again making the Timberwolves watchable again. The dominating 6 foot 10 power forward is the heart and soul of the team and arguably the only reason they are a playoff contender at this moment in time. I mean who cant say this team is going to snatch a 7th or 8th spot at best?
Love is showing that coming back from injury hasn't slowed him down one bit. Want to hear something funny? Through 18 games Love has the stats given in the heading...but to figure out whats funny you have to venture into last seasons statistics. He only played 18 total games last year! Talk about not lossing a step...Love is clearly looking better than he was at any time before his injury last season.
He is the spark...the spark that makes this team competitive and a force to be reckoned with. Not only is Love's ability to score the ball so special for a guy of his size but his league leading rebound average (13.7 a game) allows the Wolves to get many chances on offense. Love has a type of game that many big men lack in the NBA today.
If Love keeps it up and his fellow teammates don't slow down we could be looking at the surprise team in the Western Conference. The duo of Martin/Love, Kevin/Kevin could easily put this team back into the playoff picture for this first time in well...a long time!
A duo doesn't have to be two big men, a point guard and a center, it sure can be a power forward and a small forward because when two people help the team greatly in getting the W...how can you not call them a duo? Both are contributing great minutes, numbers, and motivation to the team and that is something that makes the two Kevin's a very special force in the NBA.
Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports
websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, RantSports.com (covers the Charlotte
Bobcats), and he also writes for the league news.us. Dan is also a YouTube
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