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Minnesota Struggles Through Injuries and Another Lost Season

The NBA regular season ends tonight and the postseason starts this weekend for 16 of the 30 teams. However, 14 teams will be left out of postseason and have a long hot summer to wonder what went wrong and what needs to be done to correct it.

The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Northwest division of the NBA this season. The Thunder recently won their 60th game of the season and has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. The Denver Nuggets finished second to the Thunder in the division and have clinched the third spot in the playoffs.

One team and one player not headed to the playoffs are the Minnesota Timberwolves and their star player Kevin Lowe. The Timberwolves endured a long and difficult season and with one game left on the regular schedule own a dismal record of 30-51, 30 games behind the first place Thunder.

Minnesota team officials announced on Monday April 8 that Lowe, their star power forward, who has only played 18 games the entire season, due to a broken hand, would have arthroscopic surgery on his knee to remove scar tissue that has built up on his left knee.

Officials for the team said the surgery was minor and he will completely recuperate during the offseason. Love wanted to finish the regular season but could not play effectively and he and team officials opted for surgery. As soon as Love started playing again following clearance on his surgically repaired hand, he started experience left knee pain, which eventually affected his left hip.

Love is scheduled to return to practice on June 1 and the surgery should not affect his offseason workout program. This is just the first knee problem Love has had in his short five-year NBA career.

This season was for all intents and purposes a lost one for the Timberwolves forward, following his break out season a year ago. The season was supposed to be a great one for him and his teammates following a strong season last year and Love’s important role he played in London for Team USA when they won the Gold Medal at the Olympics.

However, he broke his hand twice. The first break was just prior to the season starting and then again in January. He played just 18 games all season but averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds in that short time frame on the court.

Love hopes this will bring to an end a “lost season” for home as well as for his teammates. The team suffered other injuries to Andrei Kirilenko, Ricky Rubio, Chase Budinger and Brandon Roy helping the season spiral out of control and end with the team 30 games below .500.

Minnesota has not played in the postseason since 2004, but Love expects that stretch to end, as he hopes he and his teammates will all return healthy. He knows his teammates are hungry and want to win and can be competitive in the Northwest division with the likes of Oklahoma City, Denver and Portland.

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