Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.
Right now, for your imaginary team: Love or Griffin?
Steve Aschburner: Love. If I’m interested in selling tickets right now – there’s that phrase again – then Griffin would be the way to go. More spectacular. A physical specimen. Lots of “ooh!” and “aah!” to his throwdowns. And the Kia folks are helping to take his profile even higher. But Love has been more productive as a scorer and rebounder and, befitting the position, is the greater grinder. I consider him, frankly, one of the hardest workers in the NBA. Defensively it’s a coin flip for me, and Love will get stymied at the rim in ways Griffin won’t. Then again, that flips around big-time going out to the arc.
Fran Blinebury: Since I’m on the record as wanting fireworks to watch, then Blake Griffin is the explosive choice. But since I suppose even imaginary teams need somebody to do the dirty work, I’ll go with Kevin Love here. Besides, I think he’ll be able to do it longer.
Scott Howard-Cooper: My imaginary team, so my imaginary timeline? Love is better now, but I’m looking big picture, long term, multiple championships and all that, so I go Griffin. He crushed a globe in the palm of his hand mostly on athleticism alone as a rookie, but now, the basketball skills are emerging by the month. His talent is gaining on the freaky physical advantages.
Shaun Powell: Give me Griffin. I suspect Love has already gotten the most out of his abilities. Griffin has more upside. His mid-range jumper will get better. Maybe his passing as well. If I need to choose between Griffin and Love for one season only, give me Love. But permanently? Go with the player guaranteed to get better.
John Schuhmann: Love. Neither is a great individual or help defender at this point, but finishing possessions with a rebound is a big part of defense, and Love is the superior rebounder. Offensively, I’d like to see Love work more inside, but the dramatic difference in both 3-point shooting and free throw shooting (Griffin is barely making half his freebies) makes Love the more efficient scorer.
Sekou Smith: This is an awful choice to have to make. Both of these guys possess many of the things anyone would love in a young power forward. Love is clearly more skilled at this stage of his career and should be, since he has a couple years on Griffin in terms of NBA service. While I absolutely love Griffin’s explosive abilities and the potential of what he could become in the next few years, Love is ready right now to challenge whoever is out there as the top power forward in the game (imaginary and real). His game is that complete, on both ends of the floor. Whatever he lacks in pure, physical talent, he more than makes up for with a work ethic that should be the envy of many of his peers around the league. The guy is a top five scorer and rebounder in the league right now. No other player in the league, at any position, can make that claim.