Well that was fun.
On Sunday night Kevin Love’s record setting 53 consecutive games with a double-double streak ended in the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-77 loss at Golden State.
In the game Love scored only six points while collecting 12 rebounds.
Love’s streak started back on November 22 against Oklahoma City when Love tallied 24 points and 17 rebounds.
His record setting streak lasted almost four months.
During those four months Love propelled the Wolves to become a regular fixture on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Now, like most 17 win teams, the Timberwolves will drift back to their regular spot at the backend of the nightly highlight show.
While the Wolves struggles were consistent during the streak, the team was at least relevant in the NBA, but more importantly in Minnesota.
As Love’s streak grew closer to Moses Malone’s previous record of 52 straight, fans in Minneapolis had finally found reason to attend Timberwolves games.
While it was inevitable that the streak would come to an end, it seemed like only injury would stop Love’s streak from reaching 100.
While Love still played 33 minutes in the Wolves 23-point loss, it was apparent that Love was hampered by a nagging knee injury.
Over the last week Love seemed a step slow, and it seemed like the only thing that kept him in the lineup was the ongoing streak.
There were reports of swelling in his knee and thigh over the past week.
Love had been missing most of the team’s practices—due to the injury—over the past few days.
Even though playing the woeful interior defense that Golden State throws out in the form of Andris Biedrins and David Lee, Love was unable to continue his record setting streak.
While it ended almost shockingly Sunday night, the lasting implications may be a positive for the Wolves.
While their horrid record was shown every night nationally alongside Love’s stats from that night’s game, Kevin Love became a household name and also the face of the Timberwolves franchise.
As the rebuilding process goes, having a formidable name and a face of the franchise is a huge step in getting pieces together to contend in the playoffs.
Hopefully three, five, ten years down the road we will look at Kevin Love’s record setting 53 straight double-doubles as the tipping point in the Timberwolves rebuilding plan that sprung them to contenders in the West.
We can only hope.
Brett is a contributor to The Sports Bank as beat writer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gopher hockey. He is also a co-host of “The Backdoor Cut,” a Minneapolis based sports and pop culture radio show.
You can follow Brett on Twitter @brettcloutier
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