When will Kevin Love get some MVP love?


BY TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com writer

Minnesota Timerwolves power forward Kevin Love usually isn't considered an MVP-caliber player. But the UCLA product is averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game this season. Photo by: JMR Photography / Flickr

When will Kevin Love finally get the credit he deserves?

The 6’10 third-year power forward from UCLA is singlehandedly compiling one of the more impressive yet overlooked statistical streaks in NBA. He ranks fourth in the league in scoring with 25.3 points per game, behind only Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, three of the NBA’s most prolific scorers. He also is currently sitting at second in rebounds, averaging 13.5 boards a game. The only person with more rebounds is the athletic monstrosity known as Dwight Howard. Out of his 22 games this season, Love has accrued 20 double-doubles.

When will these stats get his name throw into the MVP race?

Along with the help of Spanish rookie passing sensation Ricky Rubio, Love is making the Minnesota Timberwolves not only relevant again but also incredibly fun to watch. His shot versatility and formidable rebounding ability has shaped him into a potent offensive threat that opposing teams have yet to solve.

Despite his phenomenal recent success, it makes sense as to why Love hasn’t been getting as much love as he deserves. First off, the Timberwolves play in a very small market, a place where the bright lights of the national media rarely venture. Second, while the Timberwolves have improved exponentially, they still currently sit at a meager 11-12.

The third and final reason is ultimately, last name aside, Love isn’t a sexy pick. He is this tall, slightly awkward looking individual whose appearance doesn’t exactly scream super freak athlete. You won’t find him on any national advertising campaigns, nor will the media fixate droves of attention on him. Not when they have the far more prestigious players such as Chris Paul, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant to focus on.

The media almost seems to treat Love’s success as a gimmick, as a fleeting phenomenon that won’t last. What’s hilarious and tragic about this whole circus is that if you take a step back and look at the stats, Love is besting some of the NBA’s most iconic and revered players. League golden boys Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard all average less points per game then Love. Before you scream at the computer screen “well, what about his field goal percentage? It’s not something worth boasting about if he is a high volume shooter who tosses up 25 shots per game,” don’t fear, because Love is shooting a solid 45% from the field, good enough for 61st in the NBA. By the way, he is also out rebounding the hulking behemoths that are Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins, and Marcin Gortat.

So I ask again, where is the love for Love people?

If Love keeps up this ridiculous amount of double-doubles and continues to be one of the league leaders in points and rebounds, it is only a matter of time before his stats can no longer be ignored.

Love for 2011-2012 NBA MVP? Don’t count it out.

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