The Minnesota Timberwolves continue struggling to gain traction, not to mention wins, in the early stages of the NBA season despite an exciting brand of play and strong effort from young players like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio.
Love in particular has been playing like a seasoned veteran despite the fact that he is playing just his fourth season in the NBA and is only 23 years old. The power forward has put up a hefty double-double in each of the Wolves' ten games so far while also adding a weapon to his arsenal by taking and more importantly making twice as many three-point shots as last season.
With Love averaging 23.6 points (7th in league) and 14.7 rebounds (1st in league) per game, he has solidified his standing as an elite NBA player and with that come league-wide recognition. SB Nation's Tom Ziller compiled his NBA MVP Power Rankings with LeBron James topping the list. But you don't have to scroll too far to find Love ranked number four on the list.
Love plays for a team that won't sniff the playoffs, but you can't ignore his incredible production. Love has stretched out his impact on offense, taking more three-pointers than ever, while still hitting the offensive glass hard. He'll jockey with Howard for the rebound title, finish top-10 in scoring on efficient shooting and ... still be really, really bad defensively.
So as Ziller points out, if Love and his teammates can figure things out at the defensive end he may rise in the MVP rankings while the Wolves rise in the standings.