This is ridiculous. Thank you Bleacher Report.
Essentially the author argues that Love's 30-30 night deserves an asterisk because D'Antoni used stupid rotations and Love weighs more than other guys...or something. Full article after the break. I thought I'd post this because this is ridiculous. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something that really rubs me the wrong way about denigrating Love's performance. Ya, does he 'sell out' to collect boards? Sure, but what outstanding rebounder doesn't? And does he collect his own misses sometimes? Sure, but does that make his performance any worse? How is it that this is a fault for Love but something every other player doesn't get called out for when they don't do it?
If you didn’t watch Kevin Love’s 31-point and 31-rebound performance last night, you might be inclined to be impressed. However, if you did, and aren’t some die-hard Love fanatic, you might feel like too much is being made of it.
Heck, you might even want an asterisk thrown beside it for New York Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni's stupidity with his roster management.
Make no mistake, I’m no supporter of Kevin Love, but I’m also no hater. I understand the significance of his contribution to the Minnesota Timberwolves’ win last night. I understand that the effort he displayed was of a record-setting feat in regards to Timberwolves history. However, I’m also a realist that looks for the truth in everything that is done in life. [This is debatable].
The truth of Love’s statistical achievement last night is one that wasn’t that impressive, especially to one with any real sense of how numbers are acquired over the course of a game. [Which is why, of course, no one has done it in 28 years.]
Mike D’Antoni and His Idiotic Decisions
Love benefited greatly from the poor utilization of the Knicks roster by their head coach. He repeatedly had small forwards match up with Love. As if guys weighing 225 pounds or less are going to keep the 260-plus-pound behemoth from getting where he wants—it really was something that should have resulted in him losing his job. [Seriously? D'Antoni should be fired because he put light guys on Love? This is the point at which I should have realized how revealing this 'analysis' would be.]However, the deciding factor was the limited minutes that All-Star forward Amar’e Stoudemire got to play due to foul trouble. After all, 14 of Love’s rebounds were tallied in the third quarter as Amar’e sat on the bench after picking up his fourth foul at the 11:07 mark of the third. [Yup, the reason Love dominated on the boards is because the outstanding rebounder called Amare Stoudemire was out. The guy with a career TRB% of 14.7, the guy whose TRB% of 12.9 this season would rank just ahead of Pek's 12.8 on our team, and is only 1.3 better than Darko this year. Yup. Either this guy is arguing that NY losing Amare's outstanding defensive rebounding was the problem, or that NY really missed Amare's offensive rebounding (the only two ways I can think of how losing Amare might contribute to Love getting more boards). More to the point, of course, is why other guys around the league haven't gone off for 20+ boards against the Knicks when Amare's out, considering that I'm sure this isn't the first, nor the last time, that Amare will be in foul trouble.]
Before that, Love had only nine rebounds in his 17 first half minutes. He also had just six points on 2-8 shooting from the field. In regards to his defense, he allowed Danilo Gallanri to score most of his 18 first-half points because he failed to close and contest his shots. [And the this means...what, exactly? That Love was on pace to collect 20 boards in 40 minutes anyways?]
Had Michael Beasley not scored 19 points, the score would have been worse than the 65-51 advantage for the Knicks.
Love Erupts for 15 Rebounds in the Third
As stated, the game changed drastically for Love when Stoudemire left the game with less than a minute played in the quarter. But that was just one of two key substitutions that would affect the overall numbers of Love during the quarter. [Wait for it...]
It’s vital to the equation but for some reason is being overlooked because the league is desperately trying to create a "white" American star for marketing purposes. [Bam!! Non sequiter race related conspiracy card played! Of course - how could we all have missed it! Love got 31 boards because the league wants a white American star for marketing purposes... I totally get it now.]
So just what happened in the third to allow Love to all of a sudden have an impact on the game? [I'll tell you what happened - Stern called up D'Antoni and explained that the league needs more pale stars, so please let Love do something amazing to garner lots of interest around the league. Dude's got a blog on GQ, you know.] Because in all honesty, he was virtually non-existent in the first two quarters! [Lest we forget, he was 9 rebounds non-existent.]
Stoudemire picks up a fourth foul with 11:03 remaining in the third quarter and the rookie center Timofey Mozgov was inserted. Not only is he a rookie, but he also is more than 10 pounds less than Love. [Now this is a very important aspect of rebounding to understand - rebounding ability is strongly influenced by how much you weigh, not by how tall you are.] Love would pick up seven rebounds while he was in the game.
Gallinari would be substituted for Toney Douglas, a 6’2” shooting guard, at the 5:30 mark. Thus making the Knicks even smaller up front. The move forced rookie shooting guard Landry Fields, 6’7” and 210 lbs, to defend Love.
At the 4:30 mark, Mozgov would be replaced by the 205-lb Anthony Randolph. [This I find most amusing, because thus far the author has been attempting to minimize and write-off Love's rebounding performance by suggesting that the Knicks really missed Amare's defensive rebounding (which would suggest that Love was collecting too many offensive boards, right?), and that because the Knicks went small Love was able to push them around (which is true), but only after a guy who has 3-4 inches in height on Love while being basically the same size couldn't rebound his way out of a hat (that would be Mozgov. Remember when he was supposed to be the next Brook Lopez during the preseason? Me neither.) This all seems like incidental stuff, to me. The Knicks threw guys at Love and he simply beat them. 10 pounds is not nearly as big of an advantage in the NBA as having longer arms and taller standing reach. What is more telling to me is that, as the author suggests, D'Antoni supposedly helped Love get more rebounds by putting a guy such as Anthony Randolph on him, allegedly because Randolph gives up so much weight to Love (nevermind those long arms and springy legs). What is so interesting about it is that Randolph is NY's best defensive rebounder this year, at a 28.6 dreb%. His 19.2 TRB% also leads the team. In other words, Randolph is clearly NY's best rebounder. If there was any guy who was going to wrestle boards away from Love it was Randolph, and Love still out hustled him. Far from proving that D'Antoni was gifting Love with boards, this matchup with Randolph to me further proves just how dominant Love was that night.]
Love would get eight rebounds versus a lineup that primarily featured Randolph, Chandler, Fields, Douglas and Felton.
Love would finish with five offensive rebounds during the third due largely to the attention that the Knicks were paying to Beasley. [And? Isn't that what good teams are supposed to do? Exploit their matchups for everyone's benefit?]
His 10 defensive rebounds came primarily because he was camping out in the lane ignoring wide-open shooters, as exposed in this video provided by NBA.com. [Um...then make him pay by hitting those wide open shots. I fail to see how that is a negative against him. I thought big guys are supposed to camp out in the lane to defend the rim and grab rebounds. Am I missing something here?]
Not That Impressive Once You Know the Facts
Kevin Love would go on to grab an additional six rebounds in his 11 minutes of play during the fourth quarter. One must keep in mind that he was facing a worn down front line of undersized players that received very little rest; Chandler and Gallinari both finished with over 41 minutes of play. [I know, it was hard on Love as well. He played over 40 minutes too.]
So as you can see, the feat wasn’t that impressive. [It's true, if by 'feat' the author means 'this analysis'.] The exposure that it has been given is nothing short of a mockery of the sport. [Right, I forgot, it's because we need a white American star, not because there have been three times as many quadruple doubles than 30-30 games in the last 28 years.] And the fact that Love failed to mention how Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson after the game showed how classless Love really is. [???. I thought the point was that D'Antoni messed up by putting all these light guys on Love, and that Amare messed up by fouling too much. I guess if you can't prove a point by evidence based logic, then win 'em over by questioning a guy's character!] All he wanted to discuss was his numbers, not the fact that Beasley and Johnson had kept the team within reach. [For the record, in every interview I've seen of Love regarding this he has repeatedly stated many times that Beasley had a great game to keep the team in it and that Love was happy because they got a win and the team played well. Besides, can't fault a guy for his responses when every single media member is asking you questions about his individual numbers.]
I guess this is the new-age player and media: creating greatness when there is none to be had and ignoring those who actually play a more pivotal role in a victory. [What? Who? Wait - did I just read the wrong article? Since 1986 (the furthest back I could go), there have been 13 30+ rebounding games in the NBA. What makes Love's performance historic is that he was the highest scorer out of those 13 games, he's tied for the most assists with 5, and oh yeah - he is over 2 years younger than the next closest guy, and it should also be noted that 11 of those guys were 26 or older (with 9 of those guys being 29 or older). This performance is the definition of greatness - a very young player doing something no one has done in 28 years (and something very few modern players have ever done - that being 30+ rebounds) while taking advantage of matchups to lead his team back to a win when they were down 21 effing points in third quarter!!!! Am I the only one who sees that it's the same look? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here! If this isn't greatness or historic, then what is?]
Hopefully Beasley and Johnson will find themselves on a more deserving team, because the fans and mass media have already made the Timberwolves Kevin Love’s team. [This dude apparently doesn't read CH, where there's been ample debate about whether this team is more Beasley's or Love's at this point, belying the even bigger point that Beasley/Love/Wes have essentially been annointed the new long term Big Three for this team. Well, whatever. I guess that doesn't matter. To recap the main points - Love's an ego maniac who only cares about himself, D'Antoni made Love get all those boards because Stern wants a white American star, and the performance wasn't really all that historic or great anyways. I mean, the Timberwolves only got one win out of the deal. A truly great performance would've gotten the team at least 2 or 3 wins.]