CLEVELAND – Timberwolves star Kevin Love on Monday was chosen the Western Conference’s player of the week for the first time in his career.
Winning it didn’t surprise him. That second part did.
Love was honored along with Philadelphia rookie Michael Carter-Williams in the East for leading the league in scoring with a 29.7 average in three games during the week that ended Sunday, and more importantly, probably, for leading the Wolves to only their second 3-0 start in the franchise’s 25 seasons.
“I had no idea. It’s cool,” he said before Monday’s 93-92 loss at Cleveland that ended the team’s perfect start. “Actually, I was a little surprised I’d never won it before. But I’ll just take a 3-0 start over any of that.”
Love never won the award before, not even when he had that 31-point, 31-rebound game against the Knicks in November 2010. Deron Williams won it that week for a winning Utah Jazz team while the Wolves did almost nothing but lose during Love’s first five seasons.
“I do think it’s a testament to winning,” Love said. “If you win, good things happen for everybody … I guess I never really paid attention to it. I’ve had good months, good weeks in the league thus far and the thing is, there are just too many good players in this league. In a lot of ways, it doesn’t surprise me, either.”
Wolves coach Rick Adelman said Love’s honor is a lesson to his entire team about the power of winning.
“When you win, everything happens for everybody,” Adelman said. “You try to tell players that all the time. You do less on a good team and get more credit. That’s how it is.”
Lights, camera …
Monday’s game brought Love back together with Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. Or rather it brought back “Wes” with “Uncle Drew,” the soft-drink commercial pairing featuring both players made old by the powers of makeup for a playground shoot against various young bloods.
Love and Irving starred in the second “Uncle Drew” episode. Lynx star Maya Moore and Denver’s Nate Robinson are featured in the just-released third installment.
“She was great,” Love said of Moore, turning film critic. “Her accent was down pat. She had a lot of mannerisms down. I respect her in more way than one, I guess.”
Slapping skin with Spike
Love again was something of an Internet sensation Monday with a GIF that shows him slapping hands with Knicks superfan Spike Lee when Love ran by after he made a clutch, tough bank shot late in Sunday’s victory in New York.
“I forget what he was yelling,” Love said. “If I’m not mistaken, I thought it was pro-Timberwolves so I reached out. I saw the opportunity and went for it. You don’t get too many opportunities like that, especially in Madison Square Garden against a good team.”
• Rookie Gorgui Dieng saw some brief action Monday after he didn’t play in Sunday’s game. Dieng, the backup center now that Ronny Turiaf is injured, played 2 minutes, 38 seconds in the first half matched up against Cavs center Andrew Bynum and looked smallish compared to Bynum. He picked up three quick fouls in that short time and didn’t play again.
• President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders joined the Wolves in Cleveland, his hometown, after not attending Sunday’s game in New York. He brought his father, Walter, 92, and other family members to the game.
• Kevin Martin received a nice ovation when he was introduced. The Wolves guard is from Zanesville, Ohio, and had about a dozen family and friends at the game.