“(Kevin Love is) just like any other stretch 4 in the league…probably a better rebounder but pretty much like every other stretch 4.”
—Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, talking about Kevin Love with Timberwolves radio play-by-play guy Alan Horton.
If you want to debate whether Love is really a guy you can build a franchise around, that can be up for discussion. And Love is having a tough stretch coming back from his broken hand — last season he was a valuable in part because he could be a stretch four and hit better than 37 percent of his 5.1 threes a game. But this season he is still gunning from out there despite hitting just 23.3 percent, and that has dragged his shooting down.
But Love is much more than a stretch four. You can ask him or you can ask his gold medal from the London Olympics. First “probably a better rebounder” sells short how good Love is on the offensive glass. What’s more is he is dangerous in the post because he has fantastic footwork (which allows him to get off shots against more athletic defenders) and he is a gifted passer. He is good setting picks out high because he can roll to the hoop or pop out, depending on what the defense does. And we could go on, but I think even his critics would admit that.
All of which is to say, I think you’re selling Love short here, Derrick. And it could come back to bite you when your teams play Wednesday night.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
We likely won’t know more about the extent of his injury until tomorrow, but if it was serious, that would be a major loss for the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is their best perimeter defender and an important piece if they hope to compete for a playoff spot this year.
CHICAGO — Derrick Rose is nearing a return to practice with the Bulls. After undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured left orbital suffered in practice on Tuesday, Rose’s recovery is going as expected and he’s expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
“The follow-up [exam] went very well,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after practice on Saturday. “They’ve advised him to continue to let that site heal, and they think the best way for him to do that is to stay at home at this time. We plan on him being back on Wednesday morning.”
Rose won’t be able to participate in practice for another week after that — Hoiberg said the previously announced two-week timetable for returning to basketball activities remains on schedule — but with a radically different offense, there’s a lot to learn, and just being around the team to watch practices and learn the new play sets is important.
“We’re going to actually get over there and watch some film with him today,” Hoiberg said. “Because again, like we talked about [Friday], we’ve added new sets, new things, so we’ll get him caught up by a couple of coaches going over and seeing him at his house.”
The two-week timetable puts Rose’s return to basketball activity around next Wednesday, October 14. From there, it will be a matter of getting him back into game shape before Hoiberg is comfortable playing him in games.
Hoiberg said earlier this week that he is optimistic Rose will be able to play when the Bulls kick off the regular season at home on October 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.