Kevin Love vs. Blake Griffin: Which Superstar Is NBA's Top Power Forward?

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Kevin Love vs. Blake Griffin: Which Superstar Is NBA's Top Power Forward?
photo credit: CBS Sports

Kevin Love.

Blake Griffin.

Both 2012 Western Conference All-Stars, and yet Griffin finds himself in the starting lineup while Love makes the reserves list.

The two seem to have a good-natured relationship off the court—even doing a Jenga commercial together—and enjoy a friendly competition, but which one is really the better power forward?

In the end, only one can be the best—if you ask Love, it's him.

In an interview with ESPN 1500, the UCLA alum said the following:

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.

Is this just a case of blind confidence, or does Love have the stats to back up his claim?

Let's compare the two in a few categories and decide who really comes out on top.

 

Big Plays/Highlight Reel

(photo credit: The Last Angry Fan.com)

When it comes to a popularity contest (ahem, the All-Star game), no one can deny that Griffin takes the cake—after all, the guy did soar over a car in last year's dunk competition.  

Although Love slams home a few of his own, Griffin's agility and vertical create plays that continue to top the charts.

Each alley-oop, dunk and one-handed windmill comes out looking better than the last, and Griffin never ceases to amaze fans, whether home or away.

 

Offense - Point Totals

The numbers speak for themselves on this one. Although each player certainly leads his respective team most nights in point totals, let's take a close look at the books:

Griffin has a slightly stronger shooting percentage (53 percent to Love's 45), but he averages only 21 PPG.

Love averages 25.5 PPG.

He also proves reliable for Minnesota at the free-throw line, landing an impressive 83 percent of his attempts, whereas Griffin shoots just over 50 percent from the charity stripe.

If one looks purely at field goal percentages, the L.A. forward might be the stronger player. However, points on the board win ball games. Not only are Love's point totals higher, but the Wolves can count on him to make those crucial free throws during crunch time.

 

Defense - Rebounds, Blocks

Griffin comes off a bit more aggressive in the blocks department. The 22-year-old averages one block per game, while Love averages one every two games.

However, it's no secret Love currently ranks No. 1 in the league for double-doubles, and his rebounding holds the streak strong at 26 games.

Whereas Griffin averages 11 RPG, Love cleans the boards night after night, averaging 14 rebounds a night.

Love ranks No. 2 in the league for rebounds—behind Orlando's Dwight Howard with 15—and Griffin comes in at No. 6.

Overall, Love delivers more consistency on defense.

 

Conclusion

While Griffin tops the charts for Sports Center highlights and creates plays that go viral on YouTube, Love is the overall better power forward.

Don't get me wrong, the competition is so close between these two it's nearly impossible to choose. Griffin's only in his second year, has a stronger support system in the Clippers and shows huge potential for even further improvement in the future.

For now, though, K-Love consistently puts up better numbers. Finally backed by a solid point guard in Ricky Rubio, Love's true colors have surfaced.

Reserve or not, look for Love to have a huge impact on the 2012 All-Star Game on Feb. 26.

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