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Kevin Love is putting up historically great numbers to begin the season

Nov 9, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

Kevin Love AP

A healthy Kevin Love was expected to make a world of difference for the Timberwolves this season, and through the first six games that’s been exactly what’s happened.

Minnesota is off to a 4-2 start to the season, and Love’s dominance in multiple statistical categories is a big reason why.

Love’s numbers aren’t just great or above average, however. To this point in the young season, they’ve been historically remarkable.

From Mark Remme of Timberwolves.com:

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Love is the fourth player since 1954-55 to have 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, 8-plus assists in a game in which he played less than 35 minutes (he played 34:39).
  • Love is one of four players in NBA history to record 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, eight-plus assists and 3 3-pointers in a game. The others are Vince Carter, Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki.
  • Love is the first player in NBA history with 160 points, 80 rebounds and 30 assists in his first six games of the season, via Elias.
  • Love is the first player in NBA history to average 27 points, 14 rebounds and five assists through six games.
  • Love is the first player to have 30 points and 15 rebounds three times in his first six games since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1988-89.

Pretty incredible stuff here, and Timberwolves fans will just hope he stays anywhere near this level of production over the course of the season, after seeing Love play in just 18 games a year ago due to injury.

  1. rickyspanish - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    The guy is good, I’ve never understood the criticism.

    • kinggw - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      He is good, but he puts up empty numbers. All those big numbers have not translated into wins for the Wolves. It also doesn’t help that he doesn’t play defense and at times comes off as a jerk.

      Love’s at the stage in his career where people know he’s good but they expect him to deliver more wins.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        One reason why Love’s scoring numbers don’t help the Wolves is the manner in which he gets them. Their PF is a poor shooter everywhere from the floor except beyond the arc. That doesn’t help.

        When a team absolutely needs 2 points they want to be able to go inside to their franchise PF for a high percentage shot. You can’t really do that with Kevin Love. With him, if he is going to make a winning bucket it’s probably going to be a three (according to Basketball-Reference.com, the vast majority of his game tying/winning attempts are threes) – and that’s a very low percentage shot even for a great three point shooter.

        So that’s a problem for me, if I’m a GM or a coach.

        PS. And don’t bring up Dirk (something Love fans always like to do)… Nowitzki is an incredible midrange shooter and he can get down in the low post and drop his one legged fadeaway on you (and he’s a higher percentage finisher at the rim in general, compared to Love).

      • therealhtj - Nov 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Don’t sweat all the thumbs down from Minny fans – they’ll all be singing the same tune when Love opts out in 2015 and bolts NBA Siberia. Kinda like LA fans about Dwight.

      • bigmeechy74 - Nov 11, 2013 at 4:45 AM

        Yeah it’s his fault that the West has been deep as hell and Rubio shredded his knee. He should’ve single handedly got them to 60+ wins every year. What a bum

  2. doctorfootball - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    The guy is a phenomenal scorer and rebounder. He does both and an elite level. Now, if he could only play defense. That part of his game is still lacking

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      True, but Carmelo Anthony is the same way, all offense and no defense…

      Actually, Love has a higher career true shooting percentage than Melo and he is a much better rebounder than Melo obviously.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Not only defense, but it just intrigues me that he’s such a poor shooter inside the three point line. According to Basketball-Reference.com, for his career Love is 37.3% from 3 feet to the 3-point line (580-1556). That’s Blake Griffin territory (37.5%).

        At the rim he shoots around 58%, which is obviously below average for an elite PF – but he is a 35% shooter from deep – and I guess that makes up for it (??), even though that’s not really remarkable.

        Where he really makes his mark is rebounding.

    • anhdazman - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      David Lee got to the All Star Game. And that’s the main knock on Lee.

      • casualcommenter - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        True, but nobody doubts that Kevin Love, like David Lee, is an All-Star caliber player when healthy.

        The debate is over whether he’s a super-star level player. My opinion is that he could be with better defense. Bigs (power forwards and centers) have heavy help defense responsibilities in addition to their one-on-one defensive responsibilities, so to truly be an super-star big, I feel like you have to be at least an above-average defender.

        Or you have to be like Shaq, a monster who in his prime averaged 28+ points per game with a really high field goal percentage of near 60%.

  3. antistratfordian - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    “Love is one of four players in NBA history to record 30-plus points, 15-plus rebounds, eight-plus assists and 3 3-pointers in a game. The others are Vince Carter, Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki.’

    They’re kind of selling VC a little short here. Carter had 46 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 7 threes in that game. The others aren’t even in his vincinity.

  4. saint1997 - Nov 9, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    Still haven’t forgiven the man for doing knuckle push-ups and breaking his hand the day after I took him no. 1 in my fantasy draft

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Nov 10, 2013 at 1:31 AM

      “knuckle push-ups”

      we all know he punched something

  5. captainwisdom8888 - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Kevin Love is a top-10 player in this league, possibly closer to top-5. He doesn’t get the amount of respect that he deserves, and in all likelihood he is a future Hall-of-Famer. He was the league-leader in rebounds not too long ago, he’s gonna knock down at least 100 three-pointers every season, he can pass the ball as good as anyone, and he has shown he possesses the “clutch-gene.”

    I don’t think us basketball fans will see another player who can lead the league in boards, AND knock down 100 3’s…not for a LONG time.

  6. thomaskouns - Nov 9, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Scouts consider him the worst positional, zone and one-on-one defender in the league. His gets those rebounds and numbers at the expense of leaving his team wide open for very high percentage baskets because he doesn’t cover his territory.

    Numbers can be very misleading. Just ask Stephon Marbury.

    • redbullenergydrink - Nov 10, 2013 at 2:14 AM

      Your source? uh yeah… I didn’t think you had any.

  7. smoothaswilkes - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    I see all the haters are out in force today.

    Look, the article is about Love being on an historic start to the season statistically speaking. Guess what? The Timberwolves are 4-2 so your “empty statistics” argument don’t play.

    Why don’t you guys just relax, give the man his due on the historic start, and let it go. Why so negative? Kevin Love is an elite player in the NBA, embrace it and enjoy the ride. The Wolves are fun to watch and Love plays a huge part in that.

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 10, 2013 at 4:24 AM

      Get ‘em!

  8. tigerpork - Nov 9, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    If the Wolves continue winning and Love keeps putting up crazy numbers..he’d be the favorite for MVP.

  9. brianratm - Nov 9, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    too white

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM

      He’d be better off purple.

      • allday420ap - Nov 10, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Vikes do need a qb

  10. showtimefolks007 - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Few years will be playing for lakers

  11. fordmandalay - Nov 9, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Will be a Laker by December.

  12. kb2408 - Nov 10, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    I’ve never seen a guy putting up the numbers he is, while his team is also winning, get criticized so much. Some of you guys, in an effort to come off as clever or insightful, over-analyze things.

  13. northstarnic - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    Yeah! But, but… He’s white! And he has some white teammates!

  14. northstarnic - Nov 10, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    Enjoy discrediting and talking sh:t about this guy as one of the most skilled, well- coached, and fun to watch teams in the league smokes your team. The wins will come. In fact, they already are.

  15. pistolpete0903 - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Show some love to the Love man!!!

  16. skolvikesskol - Nov 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    The Lynx are suppose to be good this year?

  17. antihypocritz - Nov 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    “Love’s numbers aren’t just great or above average, however. To this point in the young season, they’ve been historically remarkable.”

    The difference between great and your mistake of calling it historically remarkable is team pace. The TWolves so far have played at the fastest pace in the league. Love so far has the 5th highest Rebound Rate in the league. Fifth highest this season, not in the history of the NBA. Love’s play thus far should be described great (as an offensive player and defensive rebounder, not as an individual defender).

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