Kevin Love: Why He Can Go Down As One of the Greatest Power Forwards of All Time

Timber WolfAnalyst IIDecember 9, 2010

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 9:  Kevin Love #42 of the Minnesota Timberwolves battles for a rebound with Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on November 9, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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You want to disagree with me?

The title says it all, and quite frankly, numbers do not lie. This guy has done so many things this season that it's absolutely baffling.

First, he makes double doubles look easy. How many players in the NBA can grab 15 rebounds a game? But what makes it worse is that if he grabs only 15 rebounds, he had a decent game. If he grabs 18-19, he had a really good game. But Kevin Love has grabbed 20 or more rebounds five times. So far this season, Love hasn't had a game in which he played at least 35 minutes, and has grabbed less than 14 boards.

He's the very best rebounder in the NBA, and with all due respect to the NBA rebounding greats, Kevin Love will one day take his place amongst the very best rebounders. Crunching some numbers, Kevin Love will only have to average 12.5 rebounds for the next ten years to catch Dennis Rodman's rebounding numbers. That's simply mind baffling.

But your question is probably, how in the world does that put him in the conversation for greatness? Kevin Love has the largest skill set, and it's growing by the day. It's rare that I see a big that can grab 19 rebounds in a game, but at the same time knock down five 3-point shots (in 3-quarters). How many bigs can outlet a ball and drop in on a dime nine out of 10 times, then on the next play box out three opponents on the glass?

What big never gets above the rim, averages 20 points a game, but is only 6'9'' with a mediocre post up game?

Dirk Nowitzki is the greatest shooting big of all time, there's no doubt about that. But when it comes to unorthodox skill and basketball I.Q, Kevin Love is right up there with anybody you can name. The multitude of skills that Kevin Love possesses are enormous, and any guy that puts up a 30 point, 30 rebound night has to garner MVP considerations considering that team is winning.

The last player to average 20+ points and 15+ rebounds in a season was Karl Malone. Karl Malone was a three-time MVP. Will Kevin Love ever get into that conversation? I'd go on a limb to say if the Wolves were one game above .500, he would definitely get some consideration.

The trade that bought Kevin Love to the Minnesota Timberwolves was looked at with disgust by Wolves fans at the time. After all, OJ Mayo looked like a surefire thing coming out of college, and Kevin Love was a overweight white kid who didn't even dominate at the college level as well as he has in the NBA (he averaged 10 rebounds in college).

And the crazy thing is? He's only 22-years-old. He's a year younger than Wes Johnson (Timberwolves rookie), and he's only going to get better. Over the past three seasons, Love has gotton slimmer and stronger, quicker and faster, his motor is running better, his mentality and attitude has changed, and he's much more consistent than he has ever been.

Looking at Love's first game.

  • 11 points, 10 rebounds in 24 minutes.

He's now putting that up in his first quarters. He's dominating in the paint and on the glass.

But don't get me wrong, he's still a liability on the defensive end, but he's getting better with that. He still cannot score in the post with the best of them, but he's going to get better. The rate of improvement from Love can only continue, and even if he were to stop where he's at (20 ppg, 15 rpg), the game will come easier, and it could be a matter of time when he's putting together 20 points and 20 rebounds three out of five games.

Point blank, you can argue it all you want, but even losers are recognized on the highest level when it comes to being great. Reggie Miller never won a ring, but he's a legit hall of famer. The same goes for some up and comers in today's NBA. Kevin Love is one of those up and comers. To dominate the glass the way he is, and to still be able to score on the perimeter is crazy.

Mark my words, he will go down as one of the greatest power forwards to have ever played the game. I'm not saying on Malone's level, or Duncan's level, but on a "lovely" level.