Kevin Love’s Original, Historic Season

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As if Kevin Love’s 20 points per game and 15 rebounds per game were not impressive on their own, when compared to all of NBA history, his performance stands out as a singularity.  With Moses Malone, he is the only 20 and 15 player in the three point era.  And he surpasses Moses as the only 20 and 15 player to hit a three pointer – let at lone hitting them at a 43% clip.  Even more amazingly, in 1982-1983 when Moses Malone hoisted and missed his only three point attempt of the season, the average league pace was 103 possessions per 48 minutes.  The average league pace this season is 92 possessions per 48 minutes.  Love is doing something no other player has ever done, and doing it with fewer opportunities.

Even when he deuces, it's a triple.

Even with lower standards, Love still surpasses everyone else in league history.  When looking at player who averaged at least 20 points and 12 rebounds per game and shot at least 100 three pointers, the list drops Moses and adds Kevin Garnett’s 2001-2002 season, and Charles Barkley’s 86-87, 88-89, and 92-93 seasons.  Love’s 43% is a full 11% points higher than Garnett’s season – which is the closest anyone gets to Love.  Lower the standards even further to 10 rebounds per game, and the list expands substantially.  Even Larry Bird could not match Love’s current output at the three point line, peaking out 42.7% in 1984-1985.

There is no doubt that Kevin Love is having a historic season.  Hopefully, the injuries that bothered him last season do not return, and that he can continue this historic pace.  There is no one in the history of the league who has scored, rebounded, and shot three pointers like Love.  He was an unlikely candidate to do so, but Love is the first player to truly cash in on the promise of Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Kevin Garnett.  He is a rebounding machine that can score from anywhere on the floor, including three point range, and do so at a very high rate.

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2 Responses to “Kevin Love’s Original, Historic Season”

  1. jpalumbo Says:

    “Love is the first player to truly cash in on the promise of Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Kevin Garnett.” — According to the numbers for a 3rd year player or a 22 year old in that group, Barkley was the most efficient scorer in points per shot attempt and the best offensive rebounder per possession, and Malone and Garnett had much higher usage rates, but Love is surprisingly right there with them. There’s no saying if he’ll continue to improve the way they did or ever become a defender of note, but his numbers are phenomenal. http://bkref.com/tiny/rWKpt

  2. High Above Courtside Says:

    I love Kevin Love. Good article. He played a great game against the Celts a month ago. I think he had more rebounds than the entire Celt’s team

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