Is Kevin Love the Next Larry Bird?

Despite losing in double overtime to Oklahoma City last Friday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves have a reason to be excited, and that reason is forward Kevin Love. Love scored 51 points and tore down 16 rebounds in the Timberwolves' effort against Oklahoma City, drawing comparisons to NBA legend Larry Bird. 

On Sunday, Love didn't put up as many points, but he did lead the Timberwolves to a 117-100 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Although he didn't hit the over-50 points mark, he did earn a double-double. Love racked up an impressive 30 points and he grabbed a total of 16 rebounds, The Associated Press reports.

The 23-year-old center's recent performance is drawing comparisons between him and the former Celtics legend, Larry Bird. After the Denver Nuggets game, Nuggets coach George Karl felt the comparison was quite apt.

''We used to call him kind of a poor man's Larry Bird. I think you can take 'poor man's' off that comparison now. His ability to rebound is incredible and his offensive tools and skills are growing,'' Karl told The Associate Press.

These high-scoring nights aren't unusual for the young center. His teammate Anthony Tolliver said Sunday night was no huge feat for Love, it was "just another night for him."

The Timberwolves have had some bad luck this season. Point guard Ricky Rubia tore his left ACL tendon and hasn't been able to play since early March. He will not return for the rest of the season.

But Minnesota is still fighting for a playoff spot. Right now the Nuggets hold the eighth spot, and the Timberwolves have to win a few more to take over that last playoff-qualifying slot.

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman told AP how he plans to become a playoff contender.

''You see all these teams ahead of us. Teams get a nice margin when they go out and win three or four in a row. That's what we have to do.''

With the huge scoring and rebounding ability of Kevin Love, it seems like the Minnesota Timberwolves are in a good position to do just that.