Kevin Love produced his 25th career 30-point, 15-rebound game Tuesday, passing Kevin Garnett for the most 30-point, 15-board performances in Minnesota Timberwolves franchise history. Even the most casual of NBA fans could have guessed that those two men sit atop the leaderboard, as the Timberwolves haven't featured many other prolific players since being founded in 1989.
Love has played just 334 games for the Timberwolves, while Garnett comfortably holds the franchise record with 927 games played. That means Love has put up a 30-15 in 7.5 percent of his appearances with Minnesota, compared to just 2.6 percent for Garnett.
However, Love is a bit of a liability on the defensive end, and Garnett was viewed as one of the league's top interior defenders for more than a decade.
Garnett won Defensive Player of the Year for the 2007-08 season and has been honored 12 times on the NBA's All-Defensive Teams. Love, on the other hand, is never even mentioned in conjunction with defensive awards.
Despite Love's gaudy statistics, the 25-year-old power forward doesn't compare favorably to a 25-year-old Garnett.
At the same age, Garnett put up 21.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game during the 2001-02 season. Love has impressively averaged 25.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, four assists, and 0.4 blocks this season. The stats point slightly in Love's favor, but Garnett took his team to the playoffs in 2001-02, and Love's Timberwolves currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference. Garnett made his sixth consecutive playoff appearance that season, while Love has yet to log a single postseason minute.
Love clearly has a long way to go before Timberwolves fans mention him in the same breath as KG, and his first playoff appearance would be a decent place to start.
Of course, if the rumors are to be believed, Love may have more interest in creating his legacy elsewhere.
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