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Kevin Love becoming a 25-15-5 master

Dec 13, 2013, 5:46 PM EDT

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Entering this season, no player had posted back-to-back 25-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist games since 2006-07.*

Kevin Love has already done it twice this year.

*Pau Gasol did it with the Memphis Grizzlies in April of that season.

Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a win over the 76ers on Wednesday night, giving him his second back-to-back 25-15-5 games of the season. He also had a fifth such game between.

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In fact, Love has all five of the NBA’s 25-15-5 games this season.

That puts him comfortably on pace to break Shaquille O’Neal’s modern record for 25-15-5 gams in a season, 12 in 2000-01. (Basketball-Reference’s relevant records date only 1985-86.)

The actual all-time record-holder is probably Wilt Chamberlain, who has twice averaged 25-15-5 for a season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elgin Baylor also each have a 25-15-5 season.

But Love is filling the stat sheet in a way we haven’t seen in a long time. He’s an excellent scorer and rebounder with a passing touch rarely seen from someone with the size to dominate on the glass.

The statistic cutoffs are arbitrary, but they truly reflect a special skillset and consistency.

  1. allday420ap - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I love Love

    • money2long - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      do you love loving love

  2. JHathwell - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Still the league’s most overrated player. Career winning % is .298, doesn’t defend worth a damn, shooting 43% at PF, etc.

    Someone is going to make a big mistake maxing him out in 2 years. He’s just not a winner. The roster they have now by all rights should be winning and yet somehow, it isn’t. They are .500 despite having already played half their games against the Eastern Conference.

    Until he learns to shoot less, defend more and make his teammates better he’ll be nothing more than empty stats on a bad team.

    • allday420ap - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      Most overrated player> puhlease

      ever heard of kobe

      • JHathwell - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:45 PM

        C’mon, buddy.

        One guy has 5 rings and once dragged a team featuring Kwame Brown, Chris Mihm and Smush Parker to the playoffs. The other guy has never been to the playoffs in 6 years in the league. Not even close to the playoffs, in fact. Never won more than 32 games.

      • allday420ap - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        Shaq doesnt get enough credit IMO.

      • antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

        “Shaq doesnt get enough credit IMO.”

        …or Phil Jackson.

        I think Love would’ve made the playoffs already if Phil Jackson was coaching the Wolves. Kobe has only missed the playoffs one year, right? It’s the one year where everything was left to him. No Jackson. No Shaq/Gasol. No playoffs.

      • mytthor - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        JHathwell and Allday420ap – you guys deserve each other.

        Stratfordian – Phil Jackson doesn’t get enough credit? He’s often considered the best coach in league history. What else are you looking for?

      • antistratfordian - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:33 AM

        mytthor… I mean credit from some Lakers fans. I’ve had certain ones (primarily Mambites) tell me things like, “…a coach only matters so much. Jackson didn’t play in the games.”

        These are people who think Kobe “led” the Lakers to 5 titles. They don’t accept that he was ever a sidekick, or that Kobe has ever referred to himself as a sidekick (which he has). But they only started watching the Lakers religiously in 2008 so they don’t really know about Shaq. They go on to minimize the importance PJ sometimes as well. Gasol gets the same treatment, obviously.

      • pbtunpaidwriter - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Kobe was/is overrated. He was Shaq’s sidekick when he got his first 3 rings. Shaq with any star SG would have won in those years – T-Mac, Vince Carter, etc.

        Then in his last 2, the Lakers were so stacked it wasn’t even fair:

        Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Ariza, Artest, etc.

      • money2long - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        way to give the idea of a 2nd best player a negative connotation by saying sidekick. lol amazing. shaq and kobe were two alpha dogs. the lakers made shaq the franchise player. and alot of guys in the keague at that time would have been “shaq’s sidekick” . just because kobe was on a team with shaq, don’t downgrade his worth at the time.

    • tigerpork - Dec 13, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Hater alert @ JHathwell. Of course his career winning percentage is .298 because the guy is on a BAD team. A very bad team. Everyone likes to hate on Kevin Love because he is white I guess. But nobody seems to hate on Blake Griffin who can’t defend, nobody seems to hate on Carmelo Anthony who also can defend. Kevin Love plays hard every game. Nobody pulls in 15 REBOUNDS per game if they’re overrated. If rebounding is so easy…why doesn’t Dwight Howard lead the league in rebounds every game? Also Love is 4th in the NBA in efficiency and is the only power forward in that top 5. So where are the other power forwards at?

      But I guess to you when Love posts 25-15-5 back to back he is so overrated and when Blake Griffin or some other player does it…he’s an all-star.

      • JHathwell - Dec 13, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        Um, everyone hates on Carmelo and Blake. What have you been reading?

        Tell me, what’s wrong with this current Minnesota team? They have plenty of talent and they are built around Love’s style and they still are barely .500 despite having played a ton of Eastern conference teams.

        Oh, and one more thing. Do you know what a career shooting % of .448 (including .437) says about a power forward? It says he’s shooting more than he should. Blake is a .528 shooter lifetime, LMA is at .492. Say what you will about those guys, but their poor shot selection doesnt hurt their teams.

        You know what DeMarcus Cousins’ shooting % is? .452. You know what his career winning % is? .320.

        Case is rested.

      • cheathamhouse1 - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Kevin Love is a good 3-point shooter, but the majority of these shots appear to be wide-open because most of the opposing power-forwards (and other members of the opposing team) just can’t get use to a 6-10 pf shooting this many 3′s. It took San Antonio almost the entire game to stay with Love on the high screen and roll…once they did that, he didn’t score for the remaining 6 minutes…just took bad shots. Why? Because Love is really not athletic enough to create his own shot. Once you take away his shooting space he’ll try to bump you to create the space. If you hold your ground (as Boris Diaw finally did), then he’ll shoot a bad shot because he won’t want to pass it and he can’t go around the defender. Once the opposing teams actually start preparing defensively for games, they will play Love appropriately and his lack of athletic ability and team play will hurt the Wolves. He is a great rebounder, but that’s mostly positioning and speaks to Love’s tenacity. However, once teams defend him better, he will be a 17-20 point guy…which is still damn good for the NBA. Yet, it is sad that players like Martin are only getting 9 shot attempts, but I guess it’s more important to create superstars in this league to sell tickets than to actually win games…at least in a market like Minny.

    • halfmanhalfamazing15 - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      You cant compare Love’s FG percentage to LMA or Griffin. Love shoots 6 threes a game. He also gets to the free throw line more than those guys and hits a higher percentage of them. Loves true shooting percentage is higher.

      • dcbona - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Hathwell, you clearly don’t watch many Wolves games. The starters lead the NBA in playing time, and they do so because the bench is awful. That is the reason they’re a borderline playoff team this season.

        Go talk about the Lakers.

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Dec 13, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    Love>Aldridge

    • JHathwell - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

      People are so easily seduced by STATS!

      Last I checked, Basketball is still a competitive sport where winning is the bottom line.

      • redbullenergydrink - Dec 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM

        “People are so easily seduced by STATS!”

        Says the guy who just posted a LONG post strictly about the importance of stats!

      • JHathwell - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        I think you missed the point.

      • dcbona - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        Basketball is also a team game. Even superstars need the requisite players around them to be successful.

      • JHathwell - Dec 15, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Again, there’s plenty of talent there now. The T’Wolves struggle because they don’t guard anyone, and that starts with your supposed franchise player.

        Kevin Love is a very nice player but his numbers are inflated. Put him on a good team and he’s gonna fit well as a 2nd or 3rd banana. The scoring goes down, the rebounds stay steady and most likely he’s asked to at least put in the requisite effort on defense.

        Let’s not forget, this is a guy who was fat and out of shape for his first 2 years in the league. If he wants to get to the next level he has to make it happen.

  4. jollyjoker2 - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    love is a good shooter and plays position awesomely well to get rebounds. He is not a power guy to the hole though or has he hit anything under pressure to win games.

  5. antistratfordian - Dec 13, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Well he has only done it 7 times. He still has a long way to go to catch Barkley’s 74 games of 25-15-5. Or Garnett’s 52 such games. He’s still 4 shy of LeBron as well – though that may change here shortly.

  6. kavika6 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:40 AM

    Many NBA players could have a lot of points if they took as many shots as love and always had to have the ball in their hands every possession. He’s not much of a team leader either.

    • dcbona - Dec 15, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      Ridiculousness. Rick Adelman’s corner offense is designed around Kevin Love’s multi-dimensional game, so of course he’s going to have the ball in hands a lot. Just curious, what tells you he’s not a team leader? Are you in the locker room to know? Do you watch every game and study his mannerisms and interactions with teammates enough to make profound generalizations?

  7. flyingvien - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Love’s stepback three is getting awfully deadly this season.

  8. JHathwell - Dec 15, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    @Dcbona. Haha, nice try.

    Portland’s starters play just as much as Minny’s (slightly more, actually) and the Blazers are 20-4 in the West with a non-existent bench.

    Wanna know why the T’Wolves aren’t winning? I’d start with a 424 fg% while opponents are shooting .477. Not only is that dead last in the league, it’s the biggest disparity as well.

    It’s supposedly an offensive team but the shooters aen’t hitting and again, they don’t guard anyone.

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