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Baseline to Baseline recaps: Fear Kevin Love

Mar 29, 2012, 9:17 AM EST

Kevin Love, Eduardo Najera AP

What you missed while tweeting pictures of your food rather than eating it…

Knicks 108, Magic 86: It was pretty much a perfect storm for the Knicks, and they need more like it. We broke it all down here.

Minnesota 88, Bobcats 83: Kevin Love is in full on NBA2K12 beast mode — he had 40 points and 19 boards in this one and is averaging 31.2 points per game in the month of March. He’s inserting himself into the MVP discussion (even though he can’t win it on a losing team, not with today’s voters). Minnesota led most of the second half but could never really pull away, then a late 6-0 run by the Bobcats made it close. Kemba Walker had 11 of his 20 for Charlotte in the fourth quarter.

Clippers 103, Suns 86: Don’t look now, but the Clippers have won three in a row and on Wednesday played good defense. The Clippers defensive rotations were good and even DeAndre Jordan played within the system The Suns give you a steady diet of Steve Nash in the pick-and-roll and while he had 15 assists he only scored 1 point. This was close until a 9-0 fourth quarter run by the Clippers spurred by Chris Paul. Blake Griffin had 25 for the Clips and showed good chemistry on the pick-and-roll with Chris Paul. Marcin Gortat 23 for the Suns.

Raptors 105, Nuggets 96: How does Denver go from beating the Bulls two nights ago to losing to the Raptors? Well, giving up a 17-2 run late in the fourth quarter will do it. So will shooting 0-15 to close out the game. Toronto played a zone and rather than attack it inside Denver settled for jumpers. Andrea Bargnani had 10 of his 26 in the final frame.

Nets 100, Pacers 84: This looked nothing like the Pacer team that beat the Heat a few days ago. Just a sloppy game from Indiana, they’ve had a few lately where they just seem to be going through the motions. This game was tight for three quarters then the Nets went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth and threw another 16-3 run in there that quarter to pull away. Deron Williams had 13 in that fourth quarter and 30 for the game.

Celtics 94, Jazz 82: This win by the Celtics moves them back into a tie on top of the Atlantic Division with the Bucks. Boston was up 18 in the third quarter but Utah is scrappy and battled back because they dominated the glass. The fourth quarter was Kevin Garnett — he had 10 of his 23 in the quarter to help the Celtics pull away. KG always seems to have a good game against Al Jefferson. Paul Pierce had 20, Gordon Hayward had 19 to lead Utah.

Bulls 98, Hawks 87: Another game without Derrick Rose and Rip Hamilton, another win thanks to good defense (the Hawks shot just 40 percent as a team). Luol Deng can knock down the three if you leave him open and Atlanta did — he was 5-8 from deep, finished with 22 and got to rest most of the fourth quarter.

Detroit 87, Cleveland 75: The Pistons pulled away with a 17-5 run in the third quarter and never looked back. Cleveland scored 31 points in the second half. Tayshaun Prince had 29 to lead Detroit.

Spurs 117, Kings 112: It’s jut fun to watch Manu Ginobili play basketball. Watch him for a while next time you see the Spurs on, he just plays a clever, well-rounded game. He had 20 and the Spurs got the win you’d expect, but the Kings did make them really work for it.

Hornets 102, Warriors 87: Well, someone had to win this game. This was a blowout starting with a 10-0 Hornets run in the second and New Orleans had three guys with more than 20 points. Golden State relied on the offensive stylings of David Lee (28) but that’s not going to get it done.

  1. glink123 - Mar 29, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    You gotta feel good about the T-Wolves, for having the guts to step up and show Love the money. I personally didn’t think they’d do it, and for a while it looked like they were going to mess this up. But they opened the checkbook, and Love is delivering. Big time. They’ve hit gold with Love and Rubio. Hopefully they learned from the Garnett – Marbury mess, and they find a way to keep this young nucleus together.

    • dadawg77 - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      They should have given him the fifth year. Hopefully they did learn but not handing out that fifth year makes me wonder.

      • rooney24 - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        I believe Love even has the option to get out after three years. I think that was the concession to get him to take the four year deal. If Rubio and Pekovic (mostly Rubio) can come back healthy next year, and a couple of young guys (like Williams) can step up their games a little, they could be pretty good next year.

  2. gabe0988 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Love scored on bobcats not saying much to me can he score 40 on bulls heat okc probably
    Not

    • cbt22 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      He scored 51 against OKC last friday actually.

    • gpatrick15 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      Um…51 point on my Thunder about a week or so ago. Though the Thunder won, it still renders your point invalid.

  3. scottieplongballs - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    It sickens me that Love won’t get the MVP. He has been the best player in the NBA this year and I hate the argument of , well the team isn’t that good. T-Wolves won 15 games last year! Isn’t this turn around just as good as an already great team making the playoffs!?

  4. scoregasmic - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Love is the best power forward in the league hands down

  5. gpatrick15 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    I once uttered the phrase “Kevin Love is overrated.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. He’s an absolute beast. However, I do not think he could win MVP on a losing team, as with him or without him, the team is still a losing team likely to miss the playoffs, or just make it in. While he does add “value,” as far as the team goes its not much, yet (if that makes sense.) They are a 25-35 win team without Kevin Love, and barely a .500 team with him. But, in the future I see multiple MVP’s for Mr. Love. Love, Durant, Lebron, and Rose will all be fighting for one award. Feels good to be a basketball fan.

  6. drunkenjunk - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Kurt I understand you don’t care but the Bucks are in the Central division and they are not at the top of the Atlantic. The Celtics moved into a tie with the 76ers. Did you just start watching basketball last year?

  7. scottieplongballs - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Wolves wouldn’t win 10 games with out Love! R u kidding, Rubio is out, there is no other real quality players on the team and Love carries the team on his back night in and night out. Top 5 in scoring, top two in rebounds, everything else he does. Everyone gets caught up in “star” power.

    • gpatrick15 - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      He did all that last year, yet they still only won, what, 15 games? He’s a beast, for sure, and I like what he has been able to do these past two seasons. I gotta give Adelman slightly more credit than Love for their improvements.

      • borderline1988 - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        His defense is the problem…that’s why he’s not a dominant NBA player. He’s a rebounding machine, maybe one of the best all-time. And a very good shooter. Clever player and Great offensive intangibles.

        But that’s about it…
        Lack of defense is not as important for a guard (Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rose, Nash, etc. are all MVP candidates). But a PF needs to be able to defend b/c if he can’t make those defensive rotations, the entire court opens up to the opposing team.

        What PF/Centre has won an MVP award in the league’s history without being a terrific defender?

      • manwithpizza - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        @borderline1988

        Nowitzki

        He might be the only one, but it can be done.

      • manwithpizza - Mar 29, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        First NBA All-Defensive team was in 1969. Since then how many players at the PF/C positions won an MVP while never making the All-Defensive team?

        OK, two Wikipedia pages and some Ctrl+F and here is the list:

        1969 – Wes Unseld
        1974 – Bob McAdoo
        1994 – Charles Barkley
        2006 – Dirk Nowitzki

        Conclusion: It’s reasonable for a dominant offensive PF/C to win the MVP, even if he is not a stellar defender, if he has a good enough scoring/rebounding year.

        Love hasn’t got there yet, but he is close, he is in the top 5 in both rebounding and scoring, . He probably needs to lead the league in one category and be in the top 3 in the other to make his case next year.

      • rooney24 - Mar 29, 2012 at 5:06 PM

        I think Love’s game will continue to improve, including his defense. He likely won’t ever be a great post defender, but he could get better. As he proved last off-season, he is willing to put in the time and effort to get better. How would the NBA look if even 50% of players were willing to put in as much hard work in the off season?

  8. seaochickens - Mar 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    I don’t get him being on a bad team as a negative of him. If he is hands down the best player on a bad team, doesn’t the fact that he has to face defenses focused on stopping him and puts up the numbers he does mean more than being on a good team where they have more threats for defense to focus on. Not to compare Love to Lin, but look at what happened when teams figured out to put a body in front of him before he reaches paint. No team seems to have figured Love out and he has been doing his thing for a while. He is a good dude, keep rocking the rim!

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