Kevin Love, The Best Power Forward in the NBA?
Kevin Love is putting up monster numbers yet again (25.4 points, 15 rebounds a night), and tells ESPN Radiothat he’s the League’s best power forward: “How much better of a player are you now compared to two years ago? ‘I’m a much better player. Not only what I do physically, but my mind as well. My mind has grown. My game is a lot further along than it was in the past. I do feel like I’m a lot better and more active on the court.’ Is there anyone in particular that gets the bulk of the credit? Your trainer, Rob McClanaghan, in L.A.? Someone here? ‘It’s an influx of people that get a lot of credit. I feel like I’m still the one that has to go out and do the work. But I give a lot of credit to the people working with me. Greatness surrounds itself with greatness. With Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, at times Joakim Noah and Al Horford, to be around those guys in the summer has really improved my game. I’m hoping I help improve them as well.’ Who’s the best ’4′ in the league: you or Blake Griffin? ‘I believe I’m the best ’4′ in the league. I think you have to believe that you’re the best. I think Mohammad Ali even said, ‘I was the greatest before I knew I was.’ I think everybody needs to have that mindset. That’s part of winning the mind game from the very start. You have to believe it. You have to hold yourself accountable.’ When you wake up on the morning of Jan. 26, will you have a long-term contract in hand? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that at this point. It’s all in my agent’s hands (Jeff Schwartz). People can speculate and say what they want, but I will just go out there, play basketball, and help this team win.’ [...] If they present you with the maximum, do you sign it? ‘It’s all in my agent’s hands. I just don’t know what I am going to do. I’m happy to be a Timberwolf at this point and happy we’re winning games.’”
He is the best at the moment. Not saying that I think someone will pass him but as of now, he is the most dominate big other than Howard.. And it is very very close between those two.
I think he and Blacke are completely different players so it's not really fair to compare them. However, they will always be compared because they are the next generation.
IMO I would still take Dirk in a playoff series
I'd still give Dirk, Aldridge, Blake, Amare and Bosh an edge over him at the moment. Randolph is on the same level and dominates him head to head, so I'd give him an edge as well.
That's no shot at Love. That's just a testament to how strong the PF position is at the moment.
How many PF's can lead the league in rebounds and be shooting 40% from 3 point land though? Not just that but he's learned, or at least it seems, how to create for himself. He's scoring almost at will and having Rubio distributing only helps him even more. Big things are ahead for this guy, I can only hope its with the Wolves.
the only way for love to really improve is on D...
he has great range, can create offense (this new stepback...), good mid range shooter too, fights on the offensive boards as nobody, is a beast for rebounding, improved his blocking ability, good passer even if he doesn't use it often, good shape, great mental toughness, always improving.
When he'll have improved his D he'll be the complete package. HE'S ONLY 23...
And Love has improved his defense a lot in the last two years. Now opposing power forwards generally do not have good games against him. He might not be the best, but it is kind of scary that he is knocking down threes, popping jumpers of curl moves, posting up and second in the league in rebounds. I know I've gotten some criticism in the past for getting a little too excited about Love (I've even said you could think about Hall of Fame for him, if he can keep this up for another 10 years). But this is now his fourth year in the league and he keeps getting better. If we have to start thinking about 25 points a game (with a good shooting percentage and the ability to spread the floor) while still being a top-five rebounder and being a decent defender, then All Star games are basically a lock. And yes, he is only 23, he is probably not fully physically developed. He could put on a lot of muscle in the next five years to replace the baby fat that dropped during the lockout.
I've changed my opinion on Kevin Love, but he's not a top offensive option. You're not ever going to be able to run an offense through him and win at a championship level. That's a fact. He's the second or third best player on a team.
It's a toss up between Blake and Love this year. Dirk lost a step and isn't even anywhere near the threat that Love is from beyond the arc nowadays Love has hit 17 3's in 8 games so far and Dirk has hit 4 3's in 9 games it's safe to say that Love has surpassed Dirk in that category. And Dirk is averaging 5rpg this year Love is getting 15. You would have to times Dirks rebounding average by 3 to get to Loves that a ridiculous difference.
Aldridge and Randolph are both a tier below. Aldridge is very good but for all his skills he still isn't anywhere near the rebounder Love is, and doesn't even score more points then Love.
Love's game is like tailor suited to play for D'Antoni so imagine what his numbers would look like as a Knick right now. Even more, imagine what his hype would be like playing in New York he would undoubtedly be declared the best PF in the game playing in that market.
And Bosh is not better then Love don't know what else more I can say about that. People forget that Love was averaging 20 and 15 for most of last year without any plays even being called for him.
So in conclusion you can say Love is the best PF in the game right now the guy is an animal. He's the best rebounder the league has saw since Rodman, he's become the best shooting PF since Dirk was in his late 20's. He's one of the league's best outlet passers and overall passing big men. And he's still on his rookie contract.
I have difficulty saying any other PF is better than Love, just for the sheer amount of things he brings to a team (rebounding, outside shooting, really improved inside game, not bad midrange either)... He is a guy you can just go out and build a team around. He has to be one of the most solid/consistent players in terms of production, and you would get that same production wherever he plays... Also I think it is worth mentioning that with his style of play doesn't depend on his athleticism (which incidentally has improved somehow) nor his quickness or explosiveness (also better)... He plays with his smarts and being in the right place, all the time... And barring some freak head trauma that's not going away anytime soon... He doesn't play a real risky style either so injuries will be rare (but yes they have happened i know.. but i don't see them as a impending problem..) ... The fact is, he'll be putting these type of numbers (and better) for years...
that you have to have that mindset, I don't know anybody who hoops who will admit someone is better than them.....even if they KNOW it lol. I know i feel like I can score on ANYBODY i don't care if your name is John Doe or Kobe Bryant.
i've been knowing love was someday going to be in top PF conversation. since the beggining of last year when he was getting those 20-20 games yet he was still a nobody
A second or third on an excellent, championship caliber team... if the other players compliment each others abilities which of course is always necessary.
Love has shocked me coming out of college was somewhat hefty slow not that athletic. Has turned himself into a top 3 PF, but I would take Lamarcus aldridge. he doesnt score more but is more of a complete player.
It wasn't that long ago that many people on here thought the Wolves were robbed by Memphis trading for Love.
You should be able to put the BEST power foward in the league on any team and they should be a PLAYOFF team...
Indiana Basketball, your third option is a guy that is top 5 in scoring and leads the league in rebounding?
And he is the best because none of the other good power fowards play defense either.
Dirk is off to a slow start this year, Stoudemire is also not doing as well as he normally does, Bosh is good, but not the best, Aldrige barely brings in half the boards Love does.
So that leaves Blake and Love. Blake is getting 25 and 10, shooting 56% from the field, to Love's 47%.
But right now, Love gets the nod, but it could go back and forth between the two for the next 5 years.
I think because Love had a paunch when he came into the league and was white some people say he isn't athletic. He is actually plenty athletic. Certainly jumping has never been a problem for him even if it isn't a real strength at the NBA level. He was 6' 8" (in bare feet) and 255!!! Yet he still max jumped 35 inches. Those are perfectly fine numbers for a power foward and in fact at 255 he probably outweighed most guys at his position. Sure some power forwards and centers jump a little higher, but very few do so while weighing in at over 250. I wouldn't surprised if Love is jumping a bit better now that he is a little older (but still young) and that he has slimmed down to about 240.
Aamir, here are more arguments for Love. Love is shooting a lower percentage than Blake but he is also shooting about 5 threes a game. He is shooting those at 40% so they are really very good shots (40% times 3 points = 1.2 points which also = 60% times 2 points). And since Love shot threes at 42% last year, this might be a rate he can keep up for a while. When you factor that in and that Love shoots free throws much better than Blake, actually Love is shooting a higher True Shooting Percentage than Blake. So this area really isn't that much of an advantage for Blake.
how bout that raps game love lovers.. 3 for 16 i think
He was cold tonight that's for sure..
Kevin Love is a 2nd or 3rd option on a contender. Fact.
He is producing the best numbers (he arguably was producing the best numbers last year too), but there is still too much inflation in his numbers and still a lack of defense. He puts up gaudy numbers, sure, but he still isn't shooting that high a % for a PF. I know he's a kind of face-up type, but still. There are about 5 PF's I'd take over Love (Griffin, Bosh, Aldridge, Stoudemire, Nowitzki (despite him being content with the title)) and I'd say Zach Randolph is better too but he's hurt. I don't trust Love as a winning player despite his gaudy numbers. He's a high level player, sure, but he's not a 1st option player on a winning team. As evidenced by the T'Wolves not being good since he's played there.
Amare is 7/25 tonight. Ish happens.
I agree with IndianaBasketball/Jorrye. Love is not a first option on a playoff team.... Granted Rubio is going to make this team a lot better.
I don't blame Love for considering himself the best PF in the league and pumping his own confidence up, as well as making a salary push. Someone will overpay him the way the Warriors overpaid David Lee.
But let's be serious. Could he put those numbers up on a playoff team? Franshise talents make their team's winners. What's his lifetime winning%? If you replaced Love with a true franchise player, would the Wolves be a sub .500 team?
If Love could defend as well as he shoots and rebounds you might argue his case with the league's top PFs. But because his defense is so porous, there's just no way to argue that.
I have no idea how you take Stat over Love. Stat plays less D, shoots less efficiently, and rebounds less. Blake is close, but, well, I'd like to see effort on D before I put him above Love. Dirk, despite the past few games, and Aldridge are certainly better. I'm torn on Bosh. Bosh certainly can be better, but on a night to night basis, probably isn't. So Love is top 3, and if he, as David Thorpe contests, can become Marc Gasol-ish on defense, he can be #1.
If I were starting a Franchise today, The only PF I would take over Love is Lamarcus Aldridge. Griffin is more exciting no doubt, but lets not pretend he is a good defender, he has a history of knee injuries, and really doesnt spread the floor the way Love can. Griffin is an explosive athlete, but when he is 30, is he going to be able to produce the same way?
Love may never be a 1st option on a championship team, but how many guys really are? So Far, Lebron hasnt been, Carmelo hasnt, Durant hasnt.the question wasnt weather he is a number 1 option, but if he was the best PF in the NBA.
The real fact, is that Love is a top 5 player in terms of production, and efficiancy. Its not dictated by the pace he plays at, or his defense. The guy is a foul drawing machine, he can shoot the ball, has a good post up game, and is 23 years old.
Wow at this guy's post above me... Just wow.
I agree with Biggysmalls on everything he said Untill you brought up Carmelo, Durant, not being number one option. Those guys are number option on any team.
*Yawn*, he is a stat whore. They just got beat by the horrific Craptors. Wake me up when his team wins more than 20 games a year. And no his rookie year doesn't count, it was Al's team then.
Kevin Love doesn't have a clean health history regarding his knees either... He had knee problems back during high school. Losing the weight was the smartest thing he's ever done, considering all of the knee swelling he was going through during his first few years in the league.
A lot of people only catch Blake Griffin during ESPN highlights, but he's more than just an athlete... He's much better in the post than Love. Griffin has work to do, but looks like a player you'll be able to run an offense through at a championship level. He draws doubles consistently in the post and makes the right passes. The only aspect of Love's game that's better than Griffin's at this point is his outside shooting. And defensively, they're both weak.
LeBron isn't a first option on a championship caliber ball club? That's crazy. And there is no way in the world Love is a top five player in basketball... IF he is, then I need to re-evaluate how I look at players.
Does the best power forward in the league have to be a #1 option on a championship team? Bosh and Stoudemire are not 1st options on their teams. I wouldn't really call Griffin a 1st option on his team either. Nowitzki is and always has been the first option on his team, but he is in decline now. Randolph has just been re-recognized the last couple years after he got to Memphis where he and Rudy kind of battle it out for 1st option, though it should be Zach. Aldridge has just started becoming the #1 option on his team.
I don't think you have to look at the teams or how they do because we are looking at individual skills. I don't think Love possesses the all around skills to be the best power forward in the league right now. I'd probably go with Aldridge as he is better than average at every aspect in the game. Also, I would throw Pau's name in there as he is highly skilled and can do it all. Pau can score from anywhere in the court, post up or spot up. He is probably the best passing big man in the league. He rebounds good and plays really hard defense. He is just covered up by Kobe and Bynum.
Until Love can help his team win I dont think you can make a strong argument that he is the best PF in the game. The T Wolves came last place last year. Worse than teams like the Raptors, and even a team like the Cavs that lost 27 games in a row finished with a better record than the Wolves.
Big numbers are great and all but they mean absolutely nothing if your team doesnt get the win. Top 5 in the league is something I would agree with but until Love proves that he can do what it takes to win in this league.
I never said they werent number 1 options on championship caliber ball clubs. I said they havent been number 1 options on championship teams. I believe that is a fact. The point of the statement was that there are alot of really really good players that havent won championships despite being "number 1 options"
Look, Indiana man, I'm not arguing that Blake Griffin is a really good player. He is the 3rd PF I would take to start a team, behind Aldridge and Love, but to sit here and say he is alot better then Love is foolish.
If Blake Griffin were playing for the Timberwolves and Kevin Love were playing for the Clippers, would the teams be much different?
The dude got game. He is so skilled for the position. I thought he was gonna be at best average in the league with his sub par athleticism, but his drive/motor and his skillset is unbelievable. I know his team sucks and doesn't have much help around him, BUT a man who played in the same place named KG took a very average team to the Western Conference finals and to the playoffs consistenly. Until Love literally carries his team on his back to winning I can't consider him the "best". I respect his game and everything, but his stats go to waste with every losing season.
Everyone is on Griffin's jock just because he's a human highlight machine and is the next big thing. The whole "Love can't lead his team to victories, therefore he's not a top player." Tell me.. Did the Clippers NOT have a sub-.500 record last year? They went 32-50 compared to 17-65. Remember some of Lebron's old teams that had literally like Dleaguers for teammates? Kevin Love basically has that too. The guy backing him up on defense is Darko... Let me say that again. DARKO FREAKING MILICIC. The last couple years their starting PG was either Ramon Sessions or Luke Ridnour, of which Sessions is the only one of value (Ridnour looks for his shot far too much to help out Love's game like a true PG, ahem Rubio, would). Their SG is Wes Johnson who is definitely playing out of position. It's like Bargnani playing center.. It just doesn't work. SF is Beasely who is a shooting whore. Sure he can put up big numbers but HE is the number one option on the team? That's only because he can do dribble pull ups and that's it. And seriously... Just look at their bench. When you have guys like Anthony Tolliver and Randolph playing big minutes... That's an issue.
Love is surrounded by no talent players. Not to mention the only defensive player that can stay on the court for longer than 20 minutes is Wes who, especially this year, hasn't done ANYTHING on the offensive end. I like the guy but lets just stop pretending like he can play the 2 and just give him 6th man minutes at the 3 and bring Barea in to play the 2. The fact still remains that nobody plays defense on this team. And the worst part still is that none of their past coaches, with the exception of MAYBE Dwayne Casey even focused on defense. C'mon man. OBVIOUSLY Love hasn't gotten better defensively because nobody told him he has to. Its all up to him to become one of the best PF's in the league today; and he already has the mindset to do it.
Now to all the people saying Blake has a better post game or that Love is like a "2nd or 3rd option on a good team"... Blake isn't better in the post. He can back a guy down until he can get around the guy with his quickness and dunk the ball or get an easy look. Love can do the same but he's not as quick so he backs his man down into the paint and can shoot a lovely little hook shot that he's definitely been working on. What makes him such a threat is that he can bang down low with the best of them but then also step outside and knock down the jumper. His range has increased dramatically each year too. His rookie year his only 3 pointer he could make were the corners, and he would only go out to around the FT line to knock down a shot. Then last year we see him being able to step out to the perimeter and knock down the shot but only if he's actually open. And now this year we see him being able to CREATE his own offense and knock down shots. And if you say he's a 2nd or 3rd option on a good team... He's a 2nd or 3rd option now, and not by choice really. They have Beasely taking any and every shot he could ever dream of whenever he wants. Then they have Luke Ridnour always looking to shoot a 3 whenever he's (even somtimes not) open. Like how Amar'e is option 1b while Carmelo is 1a, Love is option 2b... And he's still putting up insane numbers. I've watched a hell of a lot of his games, not just highlights, not just looking at box scores. And he does affect that game but because his defense, and the team defense as a whole, is so lacking, they can't close out a game and therefore can't get a W. Its that simple. They've lost so many close games in the past two years because they can't close the game out and lock down on defense. And until one of their coaches starts preaching that "Defense wins championships." they won't start seriously winning 50 games a year.
In terms of him being this good of a rebounder on a good team... Not so much. His numbers would most definitely drop. Because like I said before, I watch all his games. When the ball is in his vicinity and another of his teammates are there, it looks like the other guy is getting dunked on how they jump up but keep their arms down. They all defer to Kevin Love when it comes to rebounding. Just watch the games man its all there. If you put him next to Bynum, which can you imagine the dynamic of those two guys by the way it'd be tremendous, his rebounding numbers would drop but his FG% would rise simply because you gotta give Bynum pressure down low and so you don't want a 1on1 in the post with Bynum because he can out muscle most centers in the game now. So Love would get many more open looks. But the fact that Love only has Darko to attract attention... or more so laughs... he won't be as open. That's why Rubio is such a god send to this team. He makes everyone else better and is DEFINITELY putting this team on the up and up. I wouldn't be surprised if they could make the playoffs maybe just barely. But look for them next year once they've all been playing for a year and have all the chemistry flowing in the team and they all start playing defense.
He's not the BEST PF in the game right now but he's definitely top 5 and he's improving. Look out for this guy because he is gonna be big in this league for years to come. And the match up between him and Blake should always be looked forward to, especially with the new interest in maybe even a PG battle too.
I think the "he isn't a first option on a championship team" is a little rough when what we are talking about mainly is his crazy rebounding. Frankly, D. Howard probably isn't the first option on a championship team either, but he is clearly one of the top five guys in the league and the best at his position. But no, if you have to run your offense through him, you will probably lose to a more complete team like the Bulls, Heat, Lakers or Mavs. But that doesn't mean D. Howard isn't first ballot hall of famer.
I think Love is top five PF. Dirk is still the best. Pau Gasol might be second (you guys forget that he is actually a very good defender). Aldridge and Griffin are three and four and Love number five. But aside from Dirk, I'm not sure any of those guys is a lot better than Love right now. And when I'm talking about Dirk I'm assuming he is just starting slow this year because of the lockout and that he will return to his form from last year. Look at what Dirk did last year and, obviously, in the playoffs and that guy was clearly the best power forward in the game. I know Dirk hasn't been great this year, but we are talking about ten games compared to what he has done over the last ten years. Don't tell me I'm only allowed to look at the last ten games and not the prior ten years.
I wouldnt kick him out of bed #ABasketballRelatedMetaphor...I Swear...swag
Here is a little more McLovin:
Wutever made a point about how KG played in the same place and took the team to the Western Conference Finals and consistant playoff apearances. But forgot to mention that the ONE time they did go to the WCF they had Cassell and Spree with him. All those other playoff appearances were one and done and he had Marbury as a compliment in the early part of those appearances. Another side note is that those early years that they did make the playoffs, the West was the weaker conference.. Take in effect that the Wolves made the playoffs with records of 40-42, 45-37 and lock out year 25-25. Their last playoff appearance was in 2004. KG was still here a few years after that without help and without a playoff appearance also. So to say until Love does something that the great KG couldn't do alone is a little unfair.
I hate the Love to KG comparisons. Their early careers actually match up signifigantly in Love's favor and KG is an All-Time Great and surefire Hall of Famer.