Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Love wins NBA's Most Improved Player award

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: April 20, 2011 - 11:49 PM

Update, from the Wolves' news release: 

Love received 400 of a possible 580 points, including 66 first-place votes, from a panel of 116 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers (157 points, 11 first-place votes) and Dorell Wright of the Golden State Warriors (124 points, 16 first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

***

Timberwolves forward Kevin Love will receive the NBA's Most Improved Player award Thursday at Target Center.

The team tonight called a 2 p.m. Thursday press conference to make a "Major NBA Award Announcement."

That can only mean one thing.

Love's award will follow the NBA's announcement on Monday that Dwight Howard is the league's Defensive Player of the Year and Tuesday's news that Lamar Odom is its top Sixth Man.

Love left town after last week's season finale, but he'll be back by 2 p.m. tomorrow to receive his award for a season in which he often gave Wolves fans their only reason to cheer.

Just consider some of these highlights:

* He led the NBA in rebounding with a 15.2 average.

* He recorded the NBA's first 30/30 game since Moses Malone in 1982 with that 31-point, 31-rebound night against New York way back in November.

* He reached the league's longest double-double streak since the 1976 ABA/NBA merger with that 53-game streak from mid November until mid March.

Love left town after last week's season finale but he'll back back by 2 p.m. Thursday.

David Kahn also will be there to praise him.

Expected to be notable in his absence is in-limbo Wolves coach Kurt Rambis, who's back home in L.A. and sitting courtside at Wednesday night's Lakers-Hornets game.

Love is the first Timberwolf to win the award.

Houston's Aaron Brooks won it last year. Other past winners include: Indiana's Danny Granger in 2009, Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu in 2008, Golden State's Monta Ellis in 2007, Phoenix's Boris Diaw in 2006, the Clippers' Bobby Simmons in 2005, Portland's Zach Randolph in 2004, Golden State's Gilbert Arenas in 2003, Indiana's Jermaine O'Neal in 2002, Orlando's Tracy McGrady in 2001 and Indiana's Jalen Rose in 2000.

 

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