Tonight is the NBA All-Star Game and for the sake of this article I’m kind of glad I procrastinated just a little bit. Last night Kevin Love out shot Kevin Durant, the reigning scoring champ in the 3-pt. contest. Kevin Love might not be the best shooting big man, but at least he can shoot. Last year he shot nearly 42% from beyond the arc, while this year he’s shooting a modest 35%. Love’s total field goal percentage is about 47% and mind you he’s a power forward. Right now as the season stands Love is 4th in the league in scoring with 25ppg. and 2nd in rebounding grabbing 14 per. So where’s the love? In my opinion and apparently Charles Barkley’s as well believe that right now Kevin Love is the best power forward on the planet. So how is it that he isn’t a starter? Again I’m not taking anything away from Blake Griffin, but hes not nearly as good and as complete a player as Kevin Love. When Love was attending UCLA I constantly said he had the best footwork of a big man I’ve seen since Tim Duncan. Tim Duncan, a guy who many regard as the best power forward ever. The passing of the torch so to speak is happening right now before our eyes and yet Love gets no Love.
Of course their will be some snubs in the All-Star selection. Making it should be an accomplishment in itself and it is. The distinction of starting means a lot more though. Imagine if Kobe didn’t start and he came off the bench in these games. I’m not even sure if Kobe would attend because he’s that kind of competitor. I’m confused by the NBA’s approach to how they handle the All-Star selection. They let the fans vote in the starters and the coaches pick the reserves. I’m not sure that much can be done to change this, but the starting 5 should be the best at their position in their respective conferences. Then the fan favorites can be voted in as reserves. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You ready? Jeremy Lin will be the starting point guard in next year’s All-Star game over current MVP Derrick Rose, Deron Williams who is possibly the best all around point guard, and Rajon Rondo. Maybe next year Lin will be around the stature of Rondo, but definitely won’t be a Rose or D-Will. If that’s making your stomach a little queasy then so should Kevin Love not getting the starting job in the Western Conference.
He should of started over Blake Griffin, hell he could of even started at the center over Andrew Bynum. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t play in a big market team? I get that, but you have to consider his numbers. Consider this Blake Griffin scores less points per game at 21.4 and snags less rebounds with 11.4. He also has a lower PER(player efficiency rating) at 23.41 while Love’s is slightly better at 24.70. I mean come on the guy is 4th in the league in scoring behind, oh I don’t know, Kobe, LeBron, and Durant respectively, 3 of the premier players in this league and yet I never hear Love’s name mentioned for any reason. Where’s the love?
Last year the Minnesota Timberwolves had the worst record in the league, contrary to many believing the Cavs were the worst team losing LeBron and all. The Wolves only won 17 games. This year in the condensed schedule the Wolves at the break have……you guessed it 17 wins. John Hollinger has them ranked 14th in his power rankings and Marc Stein has them as high as 11 on his power rankings. They are right outside playoff contention and if they were in the Eastern Conference they’d be in 7th place right in front of the New York Knicks. So one would have to think that the Wolves will net a wins total somewhere in the 30’s in a 66-game schedule. For arguments sake lets say they double their first half wins total and get 34 on the year. That’s 17 more games then they won last year and had this year been a full 82-game schedule its possible the could of at least went .500 on the year and obtained 41 wins. That would be 24 more wins then they had last year. They owe it to their best player and yes admittedly the help of the supporting cast, but how come Love doesn’t get mentioned in any MVP conversations? I’m not saying he deserves it and he’s the first half MVP, but if his team does make the playoffs, they increase their win total by 17 games, and he maintains his numbers why shouldn’t he receive the award? Everybody else in the MVP conversation has a great supporting cast, Love and the Wolves have a lot of young talent, but they don’t compare to what other teams have as a team as a whole.
Please, show the man some love. He is Mr. Love afterall.