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Buying Love at all costs
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Beatles were wrong. You can buy Love, at least for a short time.

I'm talking about Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love, of course. While buying low for a player averaging 23 points and 15.6 rebounds per game sounds a little absurd, fantasy owners should consider this a small window of opportunity to purchase one of the top-three fantasy players in the NBA before he really explodes.

Because while Love has put up his usual eye-popping numbers, they haven't come with his typical percentages.

Since surprisingly returning from a broken hand five games ago, Love has shot just 35-of-89 from the field, a .393 percentage. He's only made 6-of-29 (.207) from 3-point range.

Even worse, he's at 69.6 percent from the foul line, down from 82.4 percent last season.

But what I see is a player who is being utilized more than ever and has a shot to best his MVP-worthy 2011-12 numbers once he gets back in rhythm.

True, Love is attempting 1.5 fewer field goals per game than last season, when he hoisted 19.3, but that's because he's getting the foul line more than ever before.

Through five games, Love already has three in which he attempted double-digit free throws. He only had 23 such games in 55 contests last season.

Love has also attempted more shots from behind the 3-point arc, taking 5.8 compared to 5.1 last season.

The problem is that he hasn't been making his foul shots or 3-point attempts with any consistency, probably because he broke his shooting hand six weeks ago and didn't have much of an opportunity to practice his stroke.

The broken hand likely impacted Love's draft-day stock as well. That means Love went in the second or third round, which should make his owner much less protective than if he was an early first-rounder.

Look, Love is a stud and his owner knows that, especially because his numbers still look tremendous despite the poor shooting percentages. You're still going to have to give up a haul to get him, so this isn't a buy-low opportunity in the traditional sense.

But whatever you have to part with will almost assuredly be worth it when Love starts making both free throws and 3-point shots at his normal rates again.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.


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