When Kevin Love broke his hand earlier this week, it was obviously a severe blow to Minnesota's high hopes this season. Already without Ricky Rubio for the start of the season as he recovers from last season's ACL surgery, the Wolves will now have to open the season also missing the monstrously good Love. Think of it this way: could the Clippers survive a month or more without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Rubio may not exactly be Paul, but these losses are almost as devastating to the Wolves as losing Paul and Griffin would be to the Clippers.

It's impossible to know at this point how many games Love will miss. The estimate for his return is six to eight weeks -- if he's back in six weeks, he'll miss essentially the month of November, possibly 15 games. If he's out the full eight weeks, it would be closer to 20, about a quarter of the season. Then of course there's the whole "cleared for contact" and "basketball shape" issues that invariably crop up with injury recovery time (at least in the case of the Clippers they do). Does 6 to 8 weeks mean until he's cleared for contact, or until he's expected to play? We just don't know.

The Wolves seemed like an up-and-coming team before Rubio (and later Love) went down last season and were expected to challenge for a low playoff seed in the West this year if healthy; but they could dig a pretty big hole in a quarter of a season (or more) without their best player(s).