Kevin Love sees playoffs this year for Timberwolves

Entering his fifth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love hasn’t had a sniff of the postseason. Minnesota, in fact, has finished fifth and last in the Northwest Division in each of his four seasons. That could change in 2012-13 as the Timberwolves have beefed up a roster that has their Western Conference competition on notice.

“It will be a big surprise to me if we didn’t make a huge leap this year and make it to the playoffs,” the Lake Oswego native told me Wednesday.

With Hall of Fame-to-be coach Rick Adelman and rookie phenom Ricky Rubio at point guard, the Timberwolves nearly made it there a year ago. They were 21-19, but a game later, Rubio was lost for the season with an ACL knee injury.

Thus began a progression of injuries that saw the Wolves without their top five scorers — including Love — at one point. They went into free-fall, losing 13 of their last 14 games to finish 26-40.

– Reported by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune