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January 20, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) shoots the game winning three point basket at the end of regulation against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Staples Center. Minnesota defeats Los Angeles 101-98. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

K-Love For MVP! - Why? - Him vs Other Forwards

Kevin Love (26.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 45% FG, 38% 3-PT FG) certainly has the stats required to win league MVP this year but most of all he has been able to lift the Timberwolves from down under back into the playoff chase. Although an inury to Ricky Rubio has possibly halted the Wolves’ chances of making the playoffs this year, K-Love has still been fighting and leading the Wolves through this season in hope of a better season next year. Playoffs maybe?

Here are some amazing stats and numbers of Kevin Love going against other great power forwards in the NBA today:

Mar 16, 2012, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) controls the ball as he is defended by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) at the Staples Center. The Lakers won 97-92. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

vs Pau Gasol

A couple of seasons ago I and a couple of NBA analysts believed that Pau Gasol was the best power forward in the NBA. However, after a sudden development and influx of younger power forwards Gasol had to step away. Although Kevin Love and the Timberwolves have never defeated the Lakers this season (0-4), Kevin Love still dominated in the two games he played Gasol (Love missed the other two games due to injuries). In their first meeting, Love tallied 33 points and 13 rebounds while Gasol finished with 28 points and 6 rebounds. In their recent meeting, Love had a double-double of 27 and 15 while Gasol had his own double-double with 17 and 11. Yes, I know that stats like those are pretty useless if you don’t win, but in this case, I’m just trying to show how love fairs against other power forwards.

 

vs Blake Griffin

Feb. 28, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) defends as Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) drives to the basket in the first half of the game at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

People should remember that K-Love also played ball in Los Angeles during his college days in UCLA. Blake Griffin is now the second Los Angeles power forward that Love has to deal with, lucky for Love, Griffin is on another team. Unlike Gasol and the Lakers, Griffin and the Clippers have been an easier team and power forward to deal with for K-Love and his pack of Wolves. K-Love didn’t outscore Griffin (Love had 17 while Griffin had 21) in the first meeting they had but he still out rebounded (14 to 10) Griffin. Doesn’t sound as convincing right? Well would a buzzer-beating three pointer convince you? Because that was what Love did by hitting the game winner in Staples Center and spoiling Blake Griffin’s evening. The following meetings would still have the same end result as Love would go defeat Griffin and the Clippers two more times. In the next meeting, Love finally showed Griffin up by scoring 39 points and grabbing 17 rebounds while Griffin had 26 and 12. Then again, Love slowed down in their 3rd meeting by only scoring 10 points and notching 7 rebounds. But despite that, the Wolves still won their 3rd straight game over the Clippers. (The two teams will face each other again a week from tonight in Minnesota)

vs Dirk Nowitzki

Jan 1, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) shoots over Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) in the fourth quarter at Target Center. Timberwolves won 99-82. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

After a marvelous run last summer, Dirk Nowitzki was rightfully declared thebest power forward in the NBA. However, since the start of the season, Kevin Love has been trying to take over the title and he certainly has done that with his hardwork in the post and consistent shooting from basically anywhere (2012 3 Point Shooting Champion). Unlike Griffin, Love and Nowitzki can shoot the ball very well, but one thing that makes Love better than Nowitzki is obviously in the rebounding category. The total rebounds Love has compared to Nowitzki in their 2 meetings of the season is 36 to 8. The Wolves had played the Mavs three times but in one of those games Nowitzki was out due to injury. But when Nowitzki was mobile, Love was just more mobile than him. Love poured in 25 points and 17 rebounds in their first meeting where he himself led the Timberwolves to a rout (99-82) over the Mavericks. Dirk still managed to score 21 points that night but shot 9 out of 20. In their second meeting and the latest meeting between the two teams, Dirk actually got his revenge by pouring in 33 points but Love still managed to out do Nowitzki overall with his 32 points and 12 rebounds. Most of all Dirk got a win that night as well. If your wondering how Love did in the game Nowitzki didn’t play, he got 31 points and 11 rebound plus a win. Not bad for a guy going against the man that basically embarrassed every team’s defense he faced in last year’s playoffs.

vs LaMarcus Aldridge

Mar. 3, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) drives to the basket on Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first quarter of the game at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

We all know Love … rebounds. We all know Nowitzki … clutch. We all know Griffn … dunks. We all know Pau … moves. But not much people give credit and respect to another All-Star power forward in the NBA. I believe it’s even a crime why this guy has only been selected to compete in the All-Star game once, which was this year. LaMarcus Aldrigde has been one of the better power forwards in the NBA and has recently been given the title by Bleacher Report as the most underrated NBA player today. I totally agree with that. Anyways, let’s look into how should-be NBA MVP Kevin Love fairs against should-be-given-respect LaMarcus Aldridge. Love said hello and goodbye to LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers for first time in the season by scoring 42 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while Aldridge settled for 14 points and 7 rebounds as the Timberwolves got the victory.  Certainly, there was no love given there by Kevin . In their second meeting, Love still continued his dominance by tallying 29 points and pulling down 16 rebounds against Aldridge’s 22 points and 7 rebounds. And again, the Wolves got the victory. At this point I feel sad for the pain that Aldridge has to endure while playing K-Love. Fortunately for Aldridge and the Blazers, they got their revenge with a win, but Love still by just one rebound outworked Aldridge. In that game both big men had 26 points, but Aldridge only had 8 rebounds while Love had 9 rebounds. It’s not that big of a deal, but still, Love won that despite shooting 7-16 and Aldiridge shot 10-17. Okay, yes, Aldridge may have won that, but not dominantly compared to the first two meetings where Love ripped Aldridge and the Blazers apart.

Well that’s all I have to say for now. I got nothing else to say but … K-LOVE FOR MVP!

For more NBA analysis check out Theon’s general NBA blog HERE

 

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