Kevin Love Leads the Resurgence of the NBA Big Man
When Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis was asked about Kevin Love’s meteoric rise to historic statistical heights, Rambis simply responded: “Those numbers are just stupid. I don’t even know what to say.”
There is plenty to say about Kevin Love’s ascension to stardom but it seems that conversation didn’t begin until the Santa Monica native dominated the Knicks earlier this month with a 31-point and 31-rebound shellacking.
Love’s dominance did in fact seem to begin at the end of last season when during the final 10 games of the season he pulled down 18 or more rebounds three times while also posting a 22-rebound performance against Amaré Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns.
Entering this season Love wasn’t considered among the league’s elite power forwards or centers even after showcasing a league-leading 18.4 RBG per 48 minutes last season and beating out the likes of Dwight Howard and Marcus Camby.
This season the former UCLA Bruin has taken advantage of teammates like Michael Beasley and their missed shot attempts for an impressive 77 offensive rebounds thus far, a talent that Love attributes to learning from “The Greats.”
“I studied the greats.” Love wrote in his blog to GQ magazine. “Dennis Rodman had it figured out: he knew that most shots are going to come to the other side of the rim. So that's how I position myself. And Bill Russell always used to say that 80 percent of rebounds are below the rim. I'm not the kind of guy who's going to jump and touch the top of the square every time.”
Although he may not dominate opponents defensively (a career 0.5 blocks per game), Love will punish teams that lack the big bodies to keep him from using his 263-lb. frame in an effort to track down one of his league-leading 14.5 RBG. Expect Love to continue his terror on the glass in pursuit of his first rebounding crown.
Like Kevin Love, Washington’s JaVale McGee has quietly carved out a niche as one of the NBA’s premiere rebounders. In McGee’s last four contests the 6’11’’ big man has posted double-digit rebounding totals including a 20-point and 16-rebound total against the Pistons last week and then backed that up with a 24-point and 18-rebound encore the following night against the 76ers.
With McGee’s ownership at a mere 79 percent there is still a chance that the young big man is still available in your league. Going forward there is certainly reason to expect him to trend upwards as the Wizards' No. 1 post option with plenty more growth to come from the 22-year-old.
Phoenix’s Channing Frye may not offer the gaudy rebounding totals that Kevin Love and JaVale McGee will but Frye’s shooting touch is something rarely found in 6’11’’ post player. Frye seems to be building off of his career-best 44 percent three-point percentage and is flourishing in the absence of Amaré Stoudemire.
After coming off the bench in Phoenix’s first nine games Frye is now an integral starting piece of Alvin Gentry’s high-octane offense. While Frye won’t ever supply fantasy owners with nightly double-doubles, the veteran will inject life into shooting percentages across the board since his 84 percent from the free-throw line is among the league’s elite big men in that category.
Written by Conor Gereg exclusively for www.thefantasyfix.com
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