MVP Ladder: Love Of The Game

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — At least one piece of this season’s MVP puzzle is over.

Kevin Love‘s unabashed love of the game has landed him the top spot, if there was a power forward only category of the KIA Race to the MVP Ladder. Since that’s not the case, Love will have to settle for being crowned the best power forward in basketball. And we are bestowing that honor upon the Minnesota Timberwolves’ All-Star with plenty of basketball to be played this season.

Love’s body of work to this point is head and shoulders above his peers at the position. He’s doing it night in and night out, going head-to-head against all of the other contenders for the top spot and scoring knockout after knockout.

The only thing left for Love to do is to make sure the Timberwolves secure that playoff bid they’ve been chasing all season. Do that and his rise on the KIA Race to the MVP Ladder will shift into overdrive. He might not catch LeBron James and Kevin Durant at the top, but he’ll have staked his claim to top-five territory.

Click here for a closer look at this week’s order. And remember, this is a fluid list. You can play your way on or you can play your way off, but nothing is guaranteed.


  1. Playoffs this year:
    WCF: Mavericks-Spurs
    ECF: Miami-Chicago
    Finals: Bulls-Mavericks
    2012 NBA CHAMPIONS: Chicago Bulls

    Heat: Great regular season record, but not enough to advance to finals.
    Lakers: Taken out in second round.
    Magic: Will be taken out by heat in WC Semis.
    Mavericks: Rip through postseason and make another title run, but hopes will be taken when they lose the finals to the Bulls.
    Thunder: 1 seed but will fall short of the WCF in a tight back-to-back series versus the Spurs.
    Spurs: Advance to the WCF just before the Mavs take them to town.
    Celtics: Too old to make another run
    Nuggets: No chances, out in first round

  2. Go Mavs says:

    Dallas big win over San Antonio last night (106-99). Nowitzki lead Dallas w/27.

  3. Go Mavs says:

    Sorry, I meant Sekou Smith on my last post!

  4. Go Mavs says:

    Dirk is at least #10! Are you kidding me? Why is Westbrook 9? Dirk is better! For cry’in out loud, Dirk is all Mavs this season! Westbrook, Parker, compare there stats to what Dirk’s done. Nowitzki can take a team past the Thunder, Lakers, and Heat in the PLAYOFFS to win an nba CHAMPIONSHIP! Not to mention they swep L.A. and only let one game in the thunder series get past them. It’s not like it was a 7 game series, they dominated! And it was ALL DIRK! Steve Sudouku has eyes that see only guards, guards, guards. Chris Paul G Kobe Bryant G Kevin Durant G Derrick Rose G Tony Parker G Westbrook G! Now do you see what I mean! All guards! Dirk Nowitzki deserves at least, I said at least, not Dirk MVP (though it would be nice) but a number 10 spot. After all he is the best Power Forward in the game. For those who say Kevin Love is, they don’t know what they are talking about, Love plays in the REGULAR SEASON, not the playoffs, Dirk can lift a team to the playoffs, but Love CAN’T even take a team to the playoffs even with the help of a young guard, Ricky Rubio. GO DIRK ‘n’ MAVS!

  5. Tim says:

    How is Rose even a serious MVP candidate? He has missed several games, his numbers are down, and, most importantly, the Bulls prove time and again that they are nearly as good without him as with him.

  6. D-Wade fan says:

    Has anyone noticed that the only people that think Kobe is deserving of an MVP award is die hard Lakers fans?
    To the Lakers/Kobe fans, I have three DEFINITE sentences for you…
    1. Kobe will not win another MVP EVER again.
    2. The Lakers won’t make the Finals again, at least until post-Kobe.
    And for the love of all that is basketball, 3. KOBE WILL NEVER BE BETTER THAN JORDAN.
    Kobe can hit a shot, clutch or otherwise. There’s nothing else special there. Seriously.
    The MVP award is not a popularity contest. It goes to the player with the highest averages in multiple categories. That’s why LeBron will win it this year.
    And with any luck, D-Wade for finals MVP.

  7. lakermig says:

    in my opinion he and kobe are the top 2 contenders i dont get the kd and lebron thing how can you be an mvp contender when you have awesome teams helping you all the way …k love is doing it all pretty much alone and same for kobe it makes kobe a bit more special cause hes leading the league in points has had some serious injuries and happens to be 33 but if you ask me the mvp title is a joke when a player of kobe bryants caliber has only 1 in a spectacular 15 year career it just shows how this “competiton” is utter BS.

  8. joel says:

    MVP race goes to the player who deserved on it….stat….good scorer,good defender,steal,rebounds,,i think LBJ is deserved on my own opinion MVP race is not about the clutch player its all about the over all qualification…. as of now LBJ is the one who retain on the top.KD is scorer only but he cant do like LBJ position……Lebron probably own this award…..

  9. Lebron MVP.
    Yestarday against Indiana in final minute he stole a ball, made two points and foul and made the three tied point shot.NO DOUBT.

  10. Dan Hardimon says:

    LeBorn James is MVP

  11. Bobson says:

    If Lebron doesnt win the MVP this year………… then i officially dont care about MVP anymore……..

  12. Bobson says:

    LOL @ These Lebron haters…. trying so hard to twist and turn to fit their Lebron hating agenda…

    MVP should go to Lebron and nobody else…. get over it…

    What he is doing offensively & defensively right now is historic!

    You really think Miami Heat is good without him dont you? Take him out and the Heat are just an average team who will get swept in the 1st round probably…..

    Before Lebron joined the Heat… Wade was getting swept in the 1st round every single year since 2006….. adding Bosh makes the Heat an average team…….. but it is LEBRON who they needed to be this successful, to get to the Finals, to win a Championship…..

    Lebron is averaging:

    28 PPG
    8 RPG
    7 APG
    2 spg
    1 bpg
    in 37 MPG
    55.5% FG
    39% 3PT
    77% FT

    Lebron is also playing up to 5 positions offensively & defensively….. you heard me… Lebron is guarding any PG-SG-SF-PF-C…. and Lebron is playing PG-SG-SF-PF-C accordingly……………

  13. Supership0 says:

    Pekovic – Most improved player
    Love- MVP

  14. SpursLover says:


  15. Greg Tooms says:

    Kobe is FARRRR too high. There is no way he’s been better than Rose or Paul just for a few examples. Kobe has been atrocious this year, has had 3 horrible shooting games, including single handedly losing two games to some of the worst teams in the NBA. On top of this, the Lakers are 5th in the West and this despite having the #1 front court in the league. No way he should be in the top 3. Sekou is showing us how much of a Kobe homer he is.

  16. DoctorJ says:

    Guys what about defense?
    Lebron is a beast on both ends of the floor whereas KD is more like Melo : an exclusive stricker.
    And those who say KD has less help from his teammates: are you kidding me? This year westbrook is better and more regular than D-wade. Bosh is the only big guy whereas the Thunder has a very complete team with a huge bench (6th man of the year).
    Lebron is having the most effective season in the whole history so => Lebron Mvp

  17. LeBronnnnnn says:

    how will u say that he’s not enough for MVP award?? he’s a two time MVP. remember? . why? are you saying that all of those clutch player’s only have the rights to win that award? kobe is a clutch player ryt? but wer talking about MVP. he’s a 1 time MVP. now tell me. compare the stat’s of your fav.player to LeBron. then you’ll see wat i mean. that’s all

  18. Today I saw Bucks-Knicks and Bucks are solid unite team.

  19. Bucks could be the only real danger to Miami Heat.

  20. bankkrom says:

    How is Kevin Love the best power forward in the NBA without debate? Sure, his stats are great, but until he takes out the Lakers, Thunder, and Heat en route to an NBA title singlehandedly that title has to go to Dirk Nowitzki. Goodness, it’s the regular season for crying out loud.

  21. Finals:
    WCF; Spurs-Clippers
    ECF; New York-Miami.

    Dallas no chances
    Lakers no chances
    OKC will get scare on crucial moments
    Denver erased in first round

    Orlando; they will make bad trade with Howard
    Boston they are too old
    Atlanta will let go Smith therefore the will lose
    Chicago is wear down team now, they need a center.

  22. aaron says:

    to me, the MVP is the player who has made their team better (and i mean a lot better) through their stellar performances. That’s why i think the MVP is between 3 people: Chris Paul or Kevin Love. Look at the numbers. Last year without Paul (and with griffin), the clippers were terrible, but after the trade, they’ve been playing a lot better and are the Division leaders over the Lakers. whats the reason? Paul. he’s got the numbers at 20 and 8, plus he makes everyone around him better and makes his team better through his play. Second, K-love, the guys averaging monster numbers at 25 and 14 rbs, and the t-wolves are actually 2 games over .500 in the 8th spot. Through his play, he has elevated his team, almost single handedly, and seriously, look at who plays on the T-wolves, its amazing that they’re even over .500 with that team. Why? Kevin Love. to me the MVP is the one guy who, if you took of a team that’s playing well would not play nearly as well, and that’s Paul or Love. If you took lebron of the Heat, they still win a lot of games because they have Bosh and Wade. If you took Durant off the Thunder, they have Westbrook and Harden, and they still win games. If you take Love off Minnesota, they’d win like 10 games this year, and if you took Paul off the Clips, they have the same season they did last year, which was a bad one. You could throw in Rose, Howard and Kobe into that mix too to round out the top 5. So to me, which team has made the biggest improvement since last year? The Clippers and the Wolves. Why? Because of Paul and Love. That’s why I’m going with either of them for MVP. But it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, the people who vote for this thing are just as biased as the fans voting for the all-star game and lebron will win again even though others deserve it more.

  23. Yatharth Sharma says:

    I think Kyrie Irving should be the MVP because he has made some amazing shots and a few game winners. The rookie from DUKE has been a very good player so mar as his young career.

  24. satish says:

    2 WORDS KEVIN DURANT THE CLUTCH KING MAN THE GUY IS A BEAST AND WILL CREAM LEBRON 1 on 1 any day of the week and why is Kevin love here what happened to people like dirk or lamarcus aldrige or blake griffin i mean kevin love wasn’t even an all star starter and ricky rubio is the 1 making him look good

  25. The Voice In The Distance says:

    Probably Kevin Durrant is the leader for MVP with LeBron James in 2nd by virue of the tougher conference. I think Dwight Howard is 3rd as the Magic would be having a disastrous season without him. Kevin Love is the best power forward now and will be an MVP in the future (not this season) and an even better player.

    I’ve been saying for years the MVP award should include the playoffs. We’ve seen before MVPs who have collapsed in the playoffs before e.g. Dirk Nowitzki in 2006-2007. Including the playoffs would give a more complete reflection of a player’s season.

  26. The Voice In The Distance says:

    Probably Kevin Durrant is leading the way for MVP with LeBron James in 2nd by virtue of the tougher conference. I think Dwight Howard should be 3rd as the Magic would most likely be having a disastrous season without him. Kevin Love is the number one power forward now and will probably be an MVP in the future and by then an even better player.

    Also as I’ve said for years I think the MVP should include the playoffs. We’ve had season MVPs who have collapsed in the playoffs in the past so making their award look a farce e.g. Dirk 2006-2007.

  27. realistically says:

    lebron james is not clutch enough to be MVP and he has too much help from great players. not hatin jus sayin, Kevin Durant is playin well enough for MVP if you ask me, but who knows, it could change.

  28. John says:

    Lets also not forget Lebrons defense….. he is defending anybody from a Point-Guard to a Pau Gasol / Dwight Howard……..

  29. justin says:

    kevin durrant deserves it dude is a beast he is the best scorer in the nba

  30. John says:

    As long as Lebron is at #1 the list is fine…

    Lebron is having the best season of his life, efficiency/production wise it is the most efficient season in NBA history per minute/possession…… as evident of PER of 33.1… which is the highest PER rating in NBA history…. think about that for a second….. meanwhile Miami Heat will probably have the best or the 2nd best record in the NBA when the season is done…

    He is doing this with or without wade, a Wade who is having his worst season since his rookie year…

    Lebron SHOULD win the MVP this season….

  31. Raph says:

    Putting Kobe in the Top 3 must be a joke, he’s shooting under 44% from the floor, under 28% from the arc and yet has chucked more shots than any year (excluding his 35.4PPG season)… He’s as inefficient as superstars can be and doesn’t have the good conscience to know when to stop chucking.

    The Lakers are THAT good because of the emergence of Andrew Bynum and the continued strong play of Pau… Kobe hasn’t played like even a Top 5 player this season (Lebron, Dwight, Durant, Wade and Rose/CP3).

  32. Belizeboy says:

    I really don’t think Love should be a MVP candidate that high up on the list. Rose, Bryant, Howard, Paul, Rudy, Parker all come in before him IMO, but whatever he’s not going to win MVP anyways so it doesn’t matter.

  33. ancientrs says:

    I really don’t think lebron should be considered the front runner for the mvp. When you have dwayne wade, a top 5 player, chris bosh, a top 20 player and lebron james who very well could be the best player on the same team I don’t think any of those players can be considered. To me, dwayne wade is as valuable to that team as lebron. Lets not forget, as much talent as miami has they don’t even have the best record in the league, infact they are tied for the second best. When you have 2 top 5 players and a top 20 player in the league on the same team wouldnt you expect them to be head and shoulders above the rest? This team also has more than enough talent beyond the top 3 as well. One of the biggest reasons I have heard over the years since kobes first and only mvp as a reason for him not winning again is that the lakers without him would make the playoffs. The heat would EASILY make the playoffs without lebron james so how can he be considered so heavily? I would much sooner consider Kevin love than lebron james, without kevin love the timberwolves would be be 10 games under 500. He is so far and away the most valuable player on that team and has shown it by getting the wolves in the playoff race, I mean the wolves have 4 more wins than last year already.

    • Belizeboy says:

      I think you’d really just have to watch Lebron play this season to see why they have put him on the list. I’m a huge fan of his and don’t think he deserves it over Durant, but watching him play it’s obvious that he’s playing MVP worthy ball. Plus his mention on the list came about when Wade went out and it was Lebron leading the team, and even now Wade is kinda out of sync with the team.

  34. Neutral NBA Fan says:

    Interesting points here. I do agree to an extent that Kobe should be no.3/no.4, since I think right now that Rose is getting far more help compared to Kobe, basically because If Rose has a bad shooting day which he has had quite a few (6/22 against the magic I think) Deng, Boozer, Brewer and Korver (even Noah) still make enough plays/score enough points to make every game a close game. Luol Deng is absolutely awesome sometimes.

    I however cannot understand how Tony Parker is way down at 10. Just by this fact – If you take Tony Parker out of Spurs – how will they do ? They will do real bad is the answer! Parker has been getting decent support however from Timmy, Neal and now even Manu is back.

  35. Adam says:

    To this point I gotta say D-Rose. Kobe takes too many shots, Lebreeze doesn’t have to be the closer because he has D-way around. Nobody talks about it, but the game is easier when you have 2 other guys that can carry a team by themselves. So Miami should automatically be out of the consideration. Kevin Durant is my second. Kobe 3rd. I mean it’s Kobe…even though he takes a lot of shots. Kevin Love…. If Minnesota can make it to the western conference finals…somehow… then he is the MVP.

  36. 2 words: LeBron James

    • kobe says:

      two words..isnt clutch..hahahaha

      • Witness says:

        more clutch than kb ahahaha. its already been proven. in playoff games which are winning time, LBJ is 41%, while kb shoots a whopping 28%. All updated their whole careers through last year.


      • Delante says:

        Right. LBJ apparently can’t get a ring either after making it to the Finals at least 3 times. Maybe with some help from his all-star teammates he may have a chance this year…lol

      • Sick says:

        making to the finals at least 3 times??? idiot…

  37. Elliot Gould says:

    As good as he is, Love is just such an arrogant prick. I wish Bird were still around, he’d cut him down to size real quick.

  38. Dave says:

    Sorry Kevin Love is still not better right now than Dirk Nowitzki. I don’t care about his numbers, who would you want in a seven game series Dirk or Kevin? The choice is EASY. The fact that Kevin is going around claiming himself number 1 is even more irritating. This guy is not a superstar or a legit first option of a contender, that should tell you everything right there. He is barely in the top 20 of players if that.

  39. JG says:

    Kobe is an all time great. But that’s not the subject, the subject is MVP race and Kobe should not be as high as 3rd.

  40. mark downey says:

    KD deserves it. the thunder have a better record than the heat in a much tougher conferance and way less help. lebron has a hall of famer and an all star to help make things easier. Durant is your ’12 MVP

  41. jaycee says:

    hey eggert watch your word!!! though kobe has a poor shooting this season we al know why becoz he have 3 or something sprain or fracture wrist in his hand, but still at his age he’s still leading in scoring, why dont u just relax and enjoy watching nba and appreciating kobe’s move???

    • Egert says:

      Dude, calm down. I’m not saying I’m not enjoying his play. Just if we are talking about the MVP race, he shouldn’t be that high. He leads the scoring, because jacks up 30 shots a game.

  42. Egert says:

    I’m not agreed with Bryant on 3rd place at all. He was the reason the Lakers lost to Pistons and Wizards. Rose should be 3rd and Kobe 6th or something like that. But LeBron is BEASTin this season and getting his 3rd MVP trophy.

    • Sameer says:

      Second that. Rose seems to be playing better than Kobe who is chucking shot like its last day in NBA.

    • kobe says:

      eggert did u even watch the games..i agree that kobe shot way to much but he has to on some in socal and watching every laker game gasol and bynum do not come to play every night..they have heads in the clouds..after the wizards game bynum even said he was joking around out there and didnt bring his best effort..he was also triple teamed every time he touched the ball and gasol was seen staring at the paint..i love the lake show but they r a bench no point guard no one besides kobe who can break u off dribble and no outside shooter.lebron is a beast for only 3 quarters..haha

      • Kobe II says:

        Real talk dude.. all these lames out here hating and disrespecting Kobe….D. Rose, K. Durant, and LeBRICK James all have a better supporting cast….Durant has Westbrook who is really a Shooting Guard playing point guard and who easily be the SUPER STAR of any NBA team….And LeCHOKE James has the second best shooting guard in Wade and one of the best Power Forwards, Chalmers is also a good point guard and almost the W HOLE HEAT TEAM can shoot well and they have alot of 3 point shooters…NO WAY Lebron wins the MVP on such a stacked team as the heat….Let Howrard be traded for Bynum and its all LAKERS

      • aybar hedu says:

        kobe just gives problems every play and come on people Blake is the best power forward kevin love can’t dunk like that

      • Witness says:

        awww Kobe and Kobe 2, keep hating fellas thats what drives the HEat.



    • Tim says:

      But the Bulls play pretty much just as well without Rose. In other words, his impact is mediocre at best. Meanwhile, he has been missing games and putting up inferior numbers. What legitimate argument is there for Rose to even be top 10?

  43. Besides those numbers, you could really see how important he is to his twolves squad…when he’s suited up and on the court, they have an identity on the offensive end…they play smart, hard nosed basketball and the ball touches his hands on every offensive possession…even though he isn’t a PG, minnesotas offense is powered by love..when his teammates see his work ethic, their play picks up too..haters can hate on the MN record, but they can’t hate on some the twolves quality wins against teams like the clips..can’t hate on KLove neither

  44. It became evident to me that KLove was a legitimate contender for the MVP when he flew into Oregon and destroyed the Blazers single-handedly…39 points and 17 boards are serious