Kevin Love was back in town on Monday, but it had nothing to do with his days at UCLA. Love is a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and his team was here to face the Clippers in an afternoon matchup at Staples Center.
While Love didn't have the greatest game against the Clips, he's mostly played beyond his years for the T'Wolves this season, especially when it comes to his rebounding. Someone who would know a little something about that is the man that drafted love and who's his current head coach, NBA Hall-of Famer Kevin McHale.
McHale, speaking after the team's recent win over the Suns, couldn't say enough about Love's contributions thus far, and seemed particularly impressed with his rebounding abilities considering the fact that Love is only 20 years old.
"I've been telling people all along, for a 20-year-old kid, that guy rebounds the ball at such a high level it's ridiculous," McHale said. "I keep on forgetting he's 20 at times. When he gets his endurance up -- he's still got that transformation going between young man and man, where your endurance picks up, everything gets stronger, and when he goes through that ... I'll tell you what, he's good right now, he's going to be tremendous. He's been really good for us."
Not only has Love proven his NBA skills as far as his playing ability is concerned, but he's proven to be NBA-tough as well: he took a shot to the face from fellow Bruin Matt Barnes late in that game against the Suns, one that Love deemed to be a "cheap shot" afterwards, but was something he brushed off at the time for the greater good of his team.
Love has averaged over 11 points and 10 rebounds per game in January, and by all accounts, this is only the beginning.
"When he blends his instincts with the knowledge of the NBA game . . . that's when he's really going to take off," McHale said.