Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the five most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Kevin Love’s 31-31 the other night was impressive, no doubt. What impresses you most?
Steve Aschburner: What impresses me most about Love’s big night was how craftily he kept following his own shot, even the missed bunnies at the rim, to effectively pad his rebounding total. That was vintage Moses Malone, and it made me feel bad that Ricky Davis got ripped so ruthlessly a few years back when he shot at the wrong basket in a vain quest for one measly (bogus) rebound to complete a triple-double. Love benefited from his failures (11-of-26 shooting) same as a pitcher who allows a bunch of base runners, then sets some sort of pickoff record. Oh, here’s something else that impressed me: Learning that of the 19 players who amassed the 131 30-30 games in NBA history, Wilt Chamberlain had 103 of them.
Fran Blinebury: The fact the Wilt Chamberlain averaged 27.2 rebounds in the 1960-61 season.
Art Garcia: The guy’s stick-to-itiveness. Somehow he still has to prove himself even after playing on the national team. Tyson Chandler, a USA Basketball teammate, was explaining in the Dallas locker room the other night how Love does what he does. Tyson was facing a wall and, illustrating Love’s approach, used his outstretched arms to draw an imaginary box on the wall. Chandler then said that Kevin owns every inch within his box and every rebound that comes inside.
Scott Howard-Cooper: A lot of guys will score 31 at some point in their career. But that would be stunning work on the boards even for a player who was only concerned with that category. He outrebounded three teams.
Shaun Powell: What impressed me is that Kurt Rambis didn’t pull the kid after 25 minutes, like he usually does. One of the big mysteries of basketball, aside from the Birdman’s new neck tattoo, is why Rambis has such an aversion to showing Love some love.
John Schuhmann: I just love his get-every-rebound mentality. Nothing’s more important in this game than possession of the ball, and there are too many talented bigs in the league that are poor rebounders for their size. Part of it is natural talent; some guys just have a nose for the ball. But for the most part, rebounding is effort.
Sekou Smith: I love the way the guy battles his own teammates, officials, ushers and the fans in the Nicholson seats for rebounds. Love is always a relentless rebounder but the fact that he put up the 31 points to go along with the 31 rebounds is just ridiculous. Anything that happens every 28 years has to impress you.