The Great Kevin Love Debate
its easier to name the teams that arguably dont have a franchise player (who is currently before or in his prime)....
Los Angeles Lakers
then after that you have the rest that have players that are hoping they will develop or were drafted in hopes of being franchise. throw in a couple of teams like Atlanta who has a bunch of impact players but no franchise players.....and a team like Portland who is finding out through tribulation that they have a franchise player who is blossoming after being the 3rd wheel behind two other "franchise" players.
love i say is a ready franchise player plus rubio, id take that combo against a scorer who "creates his own shot". as for griffin, i have seen him play, id take his potential and will be happy to build around him as the franchise player and give him supporting casts. he got chris paul already so id take their combo again, against "go to scorer". their like ala malone and stockton(love and rubio, griffin and paul). wont you take that? wait zero championship eh? there is no michael jordan anymore so..
"Even though, right now, Love is putting up better numbers than Griffin on almost every stat, people say Griffin is better.. I think that if Love dunked more, he would be considered the best PF in the league.. The fact that he does it all from under the rim makes people think he isn't the player Blake is.."
Take into consideration that Griffin:
a) is on a better team
b) is playing with more bonified and proven scorers
c) plays less minutes
d) plays along side a center who averages 9rpg and a guy who comes off the bench for 16mpg to avg over 5rpg (while Minny's 2nd best rebounder avgs just under 7rpg)
e) plays along side 4 other guys who avg over 14ppg with Paul avg 18ppg (Love plays with Beasley who avgs 15ppg and 3 others who avg less than 12ppg)
all I am saying is, stats are not 100% conclusive....they are relative to the situation.
Love is the best PF in the game right now. Case closed.
This is the big problem I have with Kevin Love. He is getting compared to Karl Malone! Isn't Karl Malone second all-time in points scored in NBA history?
If you want to argue the merits of Kevin Love versus Elton Brand in his prime, that's fine, but Karl Malone?
Love could easily be the best player on a championship team. Love is no Malone/Barkley/Dirk/etc, but that doesn't mean he can't win it all. There was no player on the Pistons last championship team that was as good as Love is now.
That said, every great team needs someone they can give the ball to in the waning moments of a close game that can create and make his own shot. Love still has the potential to become that guy, but he isn't there yet. But even if he doesn't become that guy, it's very possible that a lesser player w/that specific ability (think RIP) could appear to fill that void and push Minn to elite status as a team.
A lot of people think Karl Malone is over rated. But that is besides the point. Yes, we compare players to past players. That is what sports fans do. We all know it is silly. But we also all want to think that we might just be watching one of the all time greats. Maybe Love averages 25 and 13 for the next five years. Heck, maybe he averages 30 and 15. We know it is unlikely, but it is kind of fun to speculate about it.
ok, this is where it gets skewed when we start comparing the game styles of opponents. 3-point shooting is the biggest culprit of it when comparing two players that play the same style (not necessarily by position). thats like saying Durant is better than LBJ....because they are on the same tier and play on the perimeter but KD is a better 3pt shooter.
Karl's face up game....sick. He had a good post game. He was a terrific athlete.
I never used the words "shot creator" as I dont believe that is the deciding factor of franchise players. One thing Malone could do was.....put the ball on the floor and get to the rack. He was a good driver and strong finisher.
Malone avg over 27ppg eight times. In 19 seasons, he avg 25ppg for his career. The fact that Love plays 40 mpg and shoots about 5 threes a game should tell you that Malone was clearly a better scorer.
I think Love is on the cusp, but not on that level. He is on the cusp because of his rebounding in connection with his scoring.
Here's a list of guys under 25 I would want to build a franchise around. As a rule of thumb, these players could be top 5 MVP candidates by the age of 25.
-Kevin Love (23)
-John Wall (21)
Good point. Counting stats are influenced by team and minutes.
So Kevin Love's raw rebounding stats are probably inflated.
However, on a better team Love's shooting efficiency would probably increase due to
1) less shots taken and
2) higher quality looks
So I think it's kind of a wash.
That's the argument...can Love be the best player on a championship team?
I think the 03-04 Pistons are certainly the exception, and not the rule if you look at the history of NBA Champions. They didn't really have a "best player," although guys like Chauncey and Rasheed were well above-average with the ball in their hands. Other than that, we can probably go all the way back to 1979 to find a team without a definitive "go-to" offensive threat as the best player.
"There was no player on the Pistons last championship team that was as good as Love is now."
As far as individual numbers, no. As far as impact??? Yeah....Ben Wallace. Easy. In rebounding they were even.....Wallace was just as good. Where Love is a good scorer, Wallace equally impacted the game on defense.....something that Love is not proficient in. Plus Wallace was a hellacious shot-blocker.
Even though Love should be a good player from here out and he is a more skilled player than Wallace offensively...he has a way to go before he reaches Wallace's level, like it or not. I mean you are talking about a 5x All-NBAer against a guy who hasnt even made All-NBA yet.
y'all hatin on k love coz he is at da wolves, he shoud come to da lakers so y'all no how good he really is, gasol for love swap i think so
Bill Russell wasn't a go-to scorer, but he was a monster rebounder, leader and a defensive anchor. The Celtics also had a complete team, so they really didn't have to rely on his scoring.
Okay, we're good. Misunderstood you.
Griffin does a lot of his damage right now as a faceup, but he's also good with his back to the basket on each block. His footwork and post moves get better week to week. And let's not act like Griffin doesn't go through players lol. He's been going through 6' 9" 6' 10" veteran grown men since last season. Athletically, the comparison to Stoudemire is legit, but Griffin is much better in isolation situations in post up. Griffin was getting his own last season without a great point guard getting him the ball. Even if Chris Paul didn't join LAC, Griffin was going to put up big numbers this season.
Then you said the biggest difference is motor between Love and Griffin... Are we watching the same game? Love has a great motor, but so does Griffin. Griffin's motor is non-stop at the offensive end. I don't see how this is a big difference for either player in favor of the other.
And I think we should leave race out of it in general. You said Love plays the "white" way. Well, does that mean Zach Randolph plays like a white boy?
No biggie... it's just how I come off sometimes. Not intentional though.
03-04 Pistons would NOT have won a championship if you swapped Kevin Love (current version) with Sheed or Wallace... Why??? Defensive toughness and intensity... Plus he's gotta ATLEAST play like this for couple seasons before we mention him with a top 5 power forward of all time like Karl Malone, damn at least wait til he makes the playoffs..
hahaha I'm obviously not trying to make it into a racial thing. Zbo has his own style of play, but he is also less athletic and worn down by time and injuries so its understandable for him to be playing below the rim.
But when you look back in the past, think about some of the white players that were really ABOVE the rim players. Joe Alexander? Major bust. Honestly thats the only one I can think of off the top of my head. I'm just saying that because Love doesn't have the elite athleticism where he can "Mozgov" Perkins like what Blake did just the other night, he finds other ways to score, such as playing to his strengths, or spotting up for jumpers or getting offensive rebounds. I'm not trying to be racial at all I just think Love plays into the "white men can't jump" stereotype too well lol
I don't watch Minnesota games, so I don't know much about the way he plays outside of recaps. However, I'm watching the Indy/Minnesota game right now and he's acting like a jackass. He chopped down on Granger's neck and was surprised when he retaliated. Now he's chirping at Indy's bench.
That was an angry foul because Granger gave them the business today lol.
A franchise player raises the level of play of those around him. The greatness of Shaquille O'Neal was getting someone to give Jason Kapono and Mark Madsen multi-year contracts for good money. The greatness of LeBron James, Tim Duncan, and Michael Jordan is getting an army of second round picks, journeymen, and fringe players elevated status and bloated contracts. The greatness of Magic Johnson was that when he retired James Worthy and Byron Scott retired too just without knowing it for a few years. Blake Griffin gets all the praise in the world, but the reason they went from bums to good and why New Orleans went from good to bums is Chris Paul.
The numbers don't matter much, and there is no denying that Shareef Abdur-Love is putting up numbers, but numbers are going to exist one way or another. Luis Scola's rebounding numbers are down because Sam Dalembert is there. He isn't any worse. Marc Gasol's numbers are up because Zach Randolph is out, not because he is suddenly Patrick Ewing. Kobe Bryant isn't better this year than last, but because there are fewer good players around him his numbers are up considerably. That is nice but the Lakers aren't as good as they were before. Monta Ellis was a nice player on a competitive Warriors team four years back, but now both he and David Lee put up epic numbers and get star pay on a bad team. Danny Granger used to put up that were only bettered at his position by LeBron, but he couldn’t do with the Pacers what LeBron did with Cleveland. The talent around Granger has gotten better as well as the coaching and Granger’s numbers have dipped, but the team is better for it. The overvaluing of numbers without an understanding how they operate within a winning framework is the reason the NBA has so many bad contracts. Kevin Love is a good player, but isn't elite.
The major problem with Kevin Love is ESPN. It is the platform that shapes perception. In the big picture, the network wants to use Love to get (mostly rural) white people who are turned off by a mostly black and otherwise international league (the kind who think college basketball is better than the NBA because of "better fundamentals") to tune in to their broadcasts. They did it with Tim Tebow to get evangelical Christians who otherwise weren’t fans to be interested in football (as well as people who didn’t want religion mixed with their football take notice), and it made unwatchable football draw huge tv ratings. It is not ethical, but it is clearly what they are doing. Like I mentioned earlier, Love isn't a bad player, but he is overpraised and he is happy to soak it up. The problem is he isn't LaMarcus Aldridge who, by the way, is a better player who plays both ends on a better team with a fraction of the praise. Whenever they are on the same court, the evidence is right there for you. The same goes for Zach Randolph. The Utah Jazz are the most surprising team in the league, and their starting frontcourt that is pumping in 35 and 18 every night yet there is not so much as a whisper asking how good Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson are or debate as to whether they are franchise talents. I tend to think they will fall back, but I didn't think the Jazz would come close to where they are now. Not a peep nationally on them. It should bother people (and set off sirens in their head) that the last place team in the Northwest division gets the most national coverage. They have nine former lottery picks and seven top six picks on their roster. In what bizarre existence should that assemblance of young players get praised for no longer being historically bad. The system that has allowed them to get so many top six picks is why it is so hard for teams in the NBA to lose 3 out of 4 games for as many years as Minnesota did, but that doesn't make them good.
i dont think love can carry a team. He needs help to win at a high level. He doesnt draw a lot fo double teams if any. But His impact on the game is undeniable and you have to be crazy to think he doesnt drastically improve his teams chances of winning game to game no matter what the eventual record has ended up being. A name that jumps out to me in terms of comparing love's impact on a game and whether or not he is a franchise talent is prime ray allen. I know they play completely different positions, but i would compare them in terms of franchise leading abilities. If you think ray allen in his prime was a franchis player or not, i would say love would fall in that same category.
If one player has to carry a team you can bet that person/player will eventually become tired of it and opt out of their contract and set up a live interview with Jim Grey on ESPN informing the world that he's taking his talents to South Beach.
at least love is moving in the right direction on here. Last year it was is he an all-star? I doubt too many people would still question that. SO maybe hes not a franchise carrying level talent. BUt hes getting better every year and earning respect on the court.
The racial aspects of this debate probably has some truth to it. Yes, I think we can acknowledge that there is an element of racism in the press that Love gets. The Milsap and Jefferson comparisons are valid, they are very good and largly ignored. As is Aldridge. But Love's larger than life numbers are different than what Aldridge has done, even if Aldridge might be the better all around player. And at worst this is only a kind of good natured racism, if there can be such a thing. Sure the media is noticing a white american born super star and giving him a little extra love. Was it wrong to single out Jackie Robinson for special recognition for his race? Of course not. Is it wrong that he had a special place in the hearts of black baseball fans when he played and now? No nothing wrong with that. But not all of that specialness is based on the adversity he overcame, his on field excellence, his off field presentation. Most if it is, but some of the feelings is is just, "hey, he looks like me and he is kicking butt." Maybe there is something wrong that we as humans react that way, but it is kind of a low-grade racism. It isn't the end of the world if a few more Wes Welker jerseys are in the stands at the Super Bowl than Victor Cruz. It's not that big a deal.
By the way, it is funny that Blake Griffin is thrown out as an example of an "above the rim" black player. Even the most casual observer would guess correctly that one of his parents is fully white. And a more educated observer might note that Blake has red hair. Red hair is a recessive gene. For your hair to be red you need to get it from both your mother and father. It is a very uncommon gene for anyone other than northern europeans to carry. So most likely Blake's black father has a mixed heritage. I've always wondered why mainly white players like Griffin or Jason Kidd (again, blue eyes, recesive genes, you have to get them from both parents) don't get lumped in with the white players. Are we still in a society that says if you have a drop of black blood you are black?
Wtf is "good natured racism"? That could win a most preposterous statement award.
Well maybe there isn't such a thing. But when the police turn the dogs loose on a bunch of black guys trying to vote, that is racism. When someone says wow he's a good jumper for a white guy, that is racism. The first thing is really bad, the second thing doesn't really bother me that much. Love is a great player and putting up phenomenal numbers (I should know I drafted him in my fantasy team two years ago). But would he get a little less attention if he were black. Yes, I suspect that is the case. But, hey, compared to all the racist sh!t that has happened in the past if Love gets a little extra love, it doesn't really bother me too much. But it is still a little racist.
Oh, and Minnesota starts four white guys and a black guy who can't play. If they keep that up and start winning, wait till you see how much they are on national TV next year. Will it be racist, yeah maybe a little. But it's not the end of the world though.
BothTeamsPlayedHard post was the most epic I've seen on this site in a long, long time.