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Sunday, October 21st, 2012 at 3:10 pm  |  92 responses

Top 50: Kevin Love, no. 11

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players for ’12-13.

by Farmer Jones / @thefarmerjones

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were asking Kevin Love to justify being traded for OJ Mayo.

That’s not a shot at OJ, who we’ve liked since we got to know him in high school, and who is a very good NBA player. It’s just funny to think that, three years ago, we were—okay, I was—asking Kevin, essentially, “Hey, earthbound chubster, remind us again what Minnesota was thinking when it traded this terrific all-around guard for your pale ass?”

Not in so many words, of course.

Again, that was a little more than three years ago. In the time since, Kevin Love has set a modern NBA record for consecutive double-doubles. He has averaged 20 and 15 for a season, and 26 and 13 for another. He has more than justified his inclusion on what was probably the best Olympic team since the Dream Team. He has made himself into a legitimate MVP candidate—not one you’d put much money on to pull the trophy away from LeBron, perhaps, but a hell of a lot closer to it than you (or we) ever thought he’d be.

We had him at No. 8 on our original list, but the hand injury that will cost him the first few weeks of the season inevitably knocked him down a few spots on a ranking of the players we expect to have the greatest impact on the 2012-13 NBA season. If that wildly insignificant slight serves to motivate Kevin, it won’t be the first time he has turned doubts into fuel. He’s not a competitive sociopath in the Michael or Kobe mode, but as his development from baby-fat reserve to franchise player makes clear, Kevin is driven as hell.

(He’s also really talented, which, in the greater Kevin Love Narrative, is the easy thing to overlook. Yes, he’s a hard worker, and yes, he hustles, and yes, as the son of a former NBA player he’s got a particularly high basketball IQ. But he’s also a terrific athlete, a title that you don’t have to jump over imported cars in TV commercials to earn. #blakeface)

So: Assuming that broken hand proves to be a minor setback, the real wild cards in Love’s 2012-13 season concern the people around him. How soon will Ricky Rubio get back on the court, and what kind of player will he be when he returns? How will the rest of the Wolves’ human blizzard of a roster gel and contribute? The only real certainty on this squad is that Kevin Love will put up 20-some points and pull down a dozen or more rebounds almost every night.

Those numbers more than justify the Draft-night trade that sent OJ Mayo to Memphis four years ago. And again, that’s nothing against OJ—those numbers justify trading just about anyone for Kevin Love.

Where should Kevin Love rank in the SLAMonline Top 50?

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SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2012
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Greg Monroe Pistons C 8
49 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 14
48 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 13
47 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 12
46 Ricky Rubio TWolves PG 11
45 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 14
44 Anthony Davis Hornets PF 13
43 Serge Ibaka Thunder PF 12
42 Al Horford Hawks C 7
41 Ty Lawson Nuggets PG 10
40 Danny Granger Pacers SF 6
39 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 11
38 John Wall Wizards PG 9
37 Monta Ellis Bucks SG 8
36 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 10
35 Roy Hibbert Pacers C 6
34 Tyson Chandler Knicks C 5
33 Eric Gordon Hornets SG 7
32 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 9
31 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 6
30 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 8
29 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 4
28 DeMarcus Cousins Kings C 3
27 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 5
26 Andre Iguodala Nuggets SG 5
25 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 4
24 Josh Smith Hawks PF 7
23 Derrick Rose Bulls PG 8
22 Joe Johnson Nets SG 4
21 Steve Nash Lakers PG 7
20 James Harden Thunder SG 3
19 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 6
18 Chris Bosh Heat PF 5
17 Kyrie Irving Cavs PG 6
16 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 4
15 Tony Parker Spurs PG 5
14 Dirk Nowitzki Mavs PF 3
13 Andrew Bynum Sixers C 2
12 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 2
11 Kevin Love TWolves PF 1

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’12-13 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Maurice Bobb, Rodger Bohn, Brendan Bowers, Franklyn Calle, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Adam Figman, Eldon Khorshidi, Eddie Maisonet III, Ryne Nelson, Ben Osborne, Allen Powell II, Sam Rubenstein, Jonathan Santiago, Abe Schwadron, Leo Sepkowitz, Dave Spahn, Ben Taylor, Tzvi Twersky, Peter Walsh, Tracy Weissenberg, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Dave Zirin.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • Stroshow

    Better than Rondo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.pirisi Daniel Pirisi

    This is sad

  • Sam

    Better than Westbrook

  • http://SLAMonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Just like Dirk, Kevin’s injury affected his ranking.

  • Raheem Shabazz

    So wait, according to SLAM Carmelo is better than KLove? NO.

  • Caboose

    Again, defense does not matter. I’d knock Blake and Love down 9 and 4 spots respectively.

  • Blue

    Top 10:
    Westbrook
    Melo
    Rondo
    Deron
    Wade
    Kobe
    CP3
    Dwight
    Durant
    Bron

  • MUBWAR

    Melo is better than Kevin? Hahahaha slam there you go again. Nothing against melo but a career 20 points average at 43% is not a top 10 player

  • justin05

    Almost perfect. I might put Westbrook over Melo, however.

  • justin05

    Carmelo has established himself in the NBA, his defense (or lackthereof) is sad but he is still a top 5 clutch player in the L. I can’t name too many players above him I would want to take the last shot of a game. I will say that Kevin Love will do more for the T’Wolves organization and city of Minnesota than Melo has done for Denver and NY.

  • danpowers

    yes he is. plus its a carreer average of 45% and 24,7ppg. melo didnt only struggle with the knicks system over stretches last year, people also like to overlook that he played banged up by several nagging injuries. in april you saw what he is capable of doing. considering that he is in the shape of his life, dont be suprised to see an even bigger seperation between those two by this time next year.

    due to all respect for love’s numbers: they didnt translate into wins so far and he cant play defense (there is also a difference to melo: melo just doesnt want to lol). leave aside a comparison to anthony. loves no. 11 rank is not really just and doesnt really make sense. at least, and i mean it, a minimum of 15 players better than love have been ranked below him so far. smh

  • danpowers

    cosign you

  • danpowers

    yes. way better

  • danpowers

    opposing to dirk: for the better?

  • danpowers

    never ever

  • danpowers

    good joke

  • danpowers

    love the 11th best player in the league? slam, you guys have a great sense for humor

  • RedDragon10

    For that excuse, you can say the same for Anthony in terms of playoff wins. The dude has passed the first round only once in his career and has been swept a number of times.

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Correct me if I’m wrong,but you is hiiiiiiigh as a muthafucka right now.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Can’t make everyone happy with this list. Someone will take issue with every player’s spot. Minnesota’s mediocrity has absolutely nothing to do with Love. Anyone who makes a blanket statement such as “His numbers haven’t produced wins” hasn’t really been watching basketball because if they did, they’d understand that it takes more than one guy to have a winning team. His numbers are legit. His game is legit. 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game against any team is legit. It would be great if Minnesota added another player along with Rubio getting healthy so that Love could have a chance of winning there. No one does it on his own. If LeBron needed Wade and Bosh and he’s the best player in the world, Love has every right to ask for another productive piece or go to a place where he has a better chance of winning when he’s able to. The only thing that puts Carmelo in the top 10 is his superstar scoring ability which is second only to Durant. If he was any less of a scorer, he’d be below Love and Griffin. Say what you will about Griffin only being a dunker, but he gives you points and rebounds for his position. Same as Love. Melo should average at least 8 or 9 rebounds a game with his size and strength. Numbers aren’t everything but you can’t argue against the kind of numbers Love or Griffin put up every night. There’s a reason why not too many guys average 20 and 10 in a season. Game broadcasts always show the stats towards the end of the season and it usually has 3 or maybe 4 guys who are at 20 and 10. Maybe a center or two, a power forward or two and a PG (points and assists instead of rebounds). If it were easy, many more would do it. Try to discount Love or Griffin’s numbers if you’d like. It looks easy to most because the only time they do it is on PlayStation or XBox.

  • danpowers

    true. dont want to hype him up here and i dont say he doesnt have any flaws. he has many. still proved to be more of winner than love even during his first two years. he lead the nuggets in the strong west to the playoffs back then from year one. something not even james could do with his cavs in the weaker east. this ranking is also a prediction for the upcoming season. considering that melo is in the shape of his life and the knicks have time to prepare for the season expect him to repeat his 09 / 09 output. he also doesnt choke in the playoffs as his numbers there are way better than his reg. season numbers. and dont think he wouldve been such a first round bust if he played in the east all his carreer. good example of “wrong place wrong time”.

  • danpowers

    oh yes you can say that to some extent. put pau, la, a healthy dirk or bosh on that minny team. they’d definitely come up with more wins at the end of a season. and sure, you cant argue their numbers and having them at 19/20 still says that they are elite players. its just unfair towards others who are still a little better.

    ” If he was any less of a scorer, he’d be below Love” true but he is that great scorer and expect him to do even more this year, which is also part of the ranking.

  • justin05

    I think you’re the one blazin’ Perry..lol

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Oh gosh, oh golly, me a druggie? Preposterous, I for one would never seek to hang out on a sofa with a bowl of cheetos, a sweet double barrel, some kick ass medicinal marijuana from Vancouver, whilst listening to Cypress Hill and Pink Floyd and revisit some old ALF reruns with my boys… that was so 90′s…. The glory days.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    That makes absolutely no sense. Bosh’s best season in Toronto was 24 and 11. Dirk’s best rebounding average so far has been 10 a game. Aldridge has yet to get 10 a game in a season. Yet you think that they’d produce more wins with the squad Kevin Love has been playing with? Based on what? What have you seen that makes you believe any of those guys would make this team better than they are now? You’re substituting a player who scores roughly the same as those guys but rebounds a lot better and you think that that would improve the team? Do any of those players you mentioned make their teammates better to the point where they would win more? If any of those guys wouldn’t have that team in the playoffs, then it really doesn’t matter at all. What’s really the significance of a team winning 40 games instead of 30 or 35? No one compares teams that don’t make the playoffs because your win percentage is really irrelevant if you’re not playing in the postseason. Every team that misses the playoffs is either average or below average. With Dirk, Aldridge and Bosh, the Wolves would still be where they are now if not worse. What player who’s been listed already has more impact on a game than Kevin Love? Name one player listed already who has the same caliber of teammates around them that Love has who produces more. You can’t name one because all of the players who have been mentioned have more talented teammates than Love does.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Look at his teammates in Denver the first couple of seasons and then look at Love’s teammates. Andre Miller (an above average PG), Nene (solid PF/Center), Marcus Camby (great defender and rebounder at that time). Add in Kenyon Martin. Iverson came along later in his career. You can’t say that Anthony led his team to the playoffs in the strong West without looking at the guys he played with compared to the guys Love has played with. Before Rubio, Love’s best teammate was Al Jefferson who only played 50 games in Love’s rookie season before tearing his ACL. LeBron’s best teammates his first season were Darius Miles and Ricky Davis. We need to keep things in the proper perspective here. Put Melo on those Cavs teams that LeBron played on and they would have been significantly worse. There’s no comparison between LeBron and Melo outside of them being drafted together. LeBron on those Nuggets teams would have easily gotten to the 2nd round.

  • danpowers

    that would take too long now man. you cant be serious about this rubbish. love is good and he will get better. bosh actually lifteed a team equally bad to the playoffs. better post player also better on the pick and roll/pop and way better defender. the way dirk scores is so versatile that it opens up more room for teammates, he can slash and his post game and passing are better than love’s. doesnt exactly show up in numbers when you open up space for others and having defensive game plans not only to guard you on the perimeter but also take your drive away or double team you on the post. one and a half years ago la started to play the right way having lower scoring numbers due to other players taking more shots and playing at a lower pace. he got more post moves, better spacing with his teammates and plays better defense.
    look at your arguement the other way: would love score any more than these guys if you put him on teams with other guys taking more shots and at a lower pace (t-wolves played at a pace factor of 96 which was 4th in the league, above all of the other guys mentioned here.

    considering the true nba elite love will get there in one or two years, just dont see him there yet.

    and dont get me wrong on the melo issue. based on last season id rank him as no 15 at best. it just seems as if he has a great season ahead thats why i defended him being over loves recent rank.

  • danpowers

    also consider all the other teams in the west back then being better than even this bunch of nice players on the nuggets.
    i stay at the statement that melo is better than love and that his play impacts his teams success more than love did so far. i dont know whats about to come for those guys.
    no doubt that lebron had and has the better carreer than melo. just doesnt take anything away from melos “success”. people tend to talk him worse than he is for not living up to their expectations instead of actually judging players by what they accomplish.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Melo isn’t a top 10 guy to me. Outside of scoring, he gives nothing else on a superstar top 10 level. Love had a top 10 season last year. I expect him to have a better season than Melo again this time around.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Besides scoring, Melo does nothing “way better” than Love. SLAM must be expecting an MVP type season from Melo…which I don’t. A top 10 guy would figure out how to play with Amar’e Stoudemire and get past the 1st round with the talent on that Knicks team.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Using the argument you’ve put forth about the strong West and the weak East, Bosh got that Raptors team to the 1st round twice in a weak Eastern Conference and got eliminated both times. A weaker conference and a 1st round exit isn’t really much to brag about. The same can be said for Melo. Only 1 trip past the 1st round thanks mostly to Chauncey Billups and his leadership along with his play. Dirk has consistently had good or great teams. You cannot make statements about the productivity of players and wins/losses without talking about the teammates they played with. We shouldn’t even be discussing Dirk’s Mavs teams compared to Love’s teams because I can name 5 guys off the top of my head that Dirk’s played with that are significantly better than any of Kevin’s teammates outside of Rubio thus far. This isn’t about post moves and how a guy scores. It’s about overall productivity. If one guy gets 26 points shooting midrange shots, threes and getting putbacks, I’ll take it. It really doesn’t matter how they score. Love would get the same numbers playing on those teams that he gets now. He would rebound more than Dirk has and score about the same if not more with PGs like Devin Harris, Jason Terry (when he plays it) and Jason Kidd. Playing with Brandon Roy when he was healthy and Andre Miller, Love would still score the same as Aldridge and still get his rebounds.

  • Raheem Shabazz

    That statement is a joke in it of itself. You can’t tell me that Carmelo will have a better year than: LMA, who will have someone on the perimeter to take the pressure away from him; Blake, for as much as I don’t like him, he will still improve his midrange/free throw shooting; Dirk; his track record is better than that of what Carmelo has done since arriving in NY; or KLove, who is more than deserving of a top 10 spot. Also Carmelo does not make his teammates better. You can make an argument that he makes them worse.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Melo’s scoring has impacted his teams so much that they’ve gotten past the 1st round once and that was the leadership of Chauncey Billups pushing that Nuggets team. Other than that season, the many 1st round exits aren’t signs of anything exciting to talk about. There’s really not any ground one can stand on when trying to argue that Melo has more of an all-around impact on a game than Love does. Where’s your proof that Melo’s scoring (because he doesn’t do anything else really worth talking about) has more impact than Love’s scoring and especially his rebounding/passing ability? What exactly has been Melo’s success in his career in the NBA besides All-Star appearances and 1st round exits save for that one Western Conference Finals trip? Not to take anything away from him because he’s earned what he has, but when it comes to winning teams as in teams that get deep into the playoffs, he’s really only been a part of 1 and he wasn’t the main reason why they won. It’s not about people’s expectations of him. He won at Syracuse as a freshman and had people thinking he was going to do the same when he got into the league. He hasn’t done it. It’s the fact that he has yet to learn how to make his teammates better not only by simply giving them the ball, but also by doing the small things. Effort on defense, rebounding the way he’s capable of, helping Amar’e get involved in the offense. He has vowed to do it this season so we’ll see. But as of today, he’s a pure scorer who isn’t really interested in doing those small things that guys do to take the next step in their careers. And this is season 10. His contemporaries from that 03 Draft (LeBron, Wade, Bosh) have all taken that step. We’re waiting on him to do the same.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    The comment that says a lot about Melo and has been made by a lot of analysts is that he is at his best playing in the Olympics. And that is because he’s not asked to do anything more than score. It works playing with LeBron, Durant, Kobe, Wade and the other Olympic teammates he’s had. But we’ve seen what it’s done so far in the NBA.

  • danpowers

    except in 08 / 09 when he played with the right supporting cast and in shape

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    That 08-09 team traded Iverson for Billups early in the season and were led by Billups, not Anthony. He has yet to lead a team anywhere except to a 1st round exit.

  • danpowers

    hold a sec, he wasnt the main reason in 08/09? come on, this is bull. he had guys like billups playing major roles as well but if he wasnt the main guy then i wonder if u actually just saw one single nuggets game that year.
    but i totally aggree on your other criticism.
    and still: love has yet to prove that he is anything more than that. unless he didnt, give the guys the edge over him who did and still do.

  • danpowers

    billups set him up nicely but anything else from that point on to be set up nicely had to be done by himself and he delivered stunning performances. billups was a major part of that success but melo was still the main guy.

  • danpowers

    i wont argue any of thate except love. i dont think that he is a bad player. just not a top 10 caliber yet. i wouldnt have complained if slam wouldve ranked melo below 15 tho as his play in ny was a time to forget. im just optimistic about that he will actually do what he promised to do on court.

  • MUBWAR

    Dan I know ur a knick fan and I’m sorry for the mediocrity you witness for the last decade n a half BUT melo is not gonna change that. The dude is simply overrated. Maybe this might sound like a hater but Ellis is ahead of him on my chart. Yes monte Ellis who averaged his last season with the GSW 22p 6a 3.5r and 1.5s

  • danpowers

    to their defense: no team except the dallas mavericks won a playoff series against the heat during the last two years. the series against boston was tighter than the sweep said, these games couldve gone either way. dont believe me? watch it. read about it. (or play nba 2k12 where even the video game commentary says that lol).
    my prediction for this coming season is that they will figure out how to play together as they actually have point guards who are able to set em up. i expect melo to go all out and come up with a nice season (compared to last season). im just not so sure about an mvp caliber season. thatll be just a race between lebron james and durant. followed by a field of howard, cp3 and maybe kobe and rondo.

  • danpowers

    thats the problem with hypothetic arguments anyway. i dont know how else to put it to explain why these guys are still better players than love. maybe itll just be easier if you go n watch em actually play.

  • danpowers

    i dont see it as hate. this criticism of yours and the others is based on facts and i cant argue about that he lacks defensive effort and hustle.
    eliis is no way better than anthony. anthonys per rating is higher (also higher than ellis’ per at gsw) melos true shooting % is higher. even his poor defense is better then ellis’ even weaker defense when you look at their advanced stats. the only thing ellis is better at than melo is passing and dishing. but his turnover ratio is also higher than melos (to ellis favor: also because of the position he plays.) so based on what should ellis be better than anthony?
    dont let the box scores fool you. i posted that a bit earlier but fits pretty well here too: “Someone created the box score, and he should be shot.” – d. morey.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    You made a good argument, but you underrate the ability to score in the post and what it does for the entire team. Dirk’s game went to another level when he developed low post scoring ability even if it was only a variation of his regular jumpshooting. Look at how Lebron posting up changed things for the Heat. Being able to get buckets on the block has always been the preferred method in the NBA.

  • Pops

    Honestly if you put Ellis over Melo you’re just a hater.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I’ve watched them play plenty of times. Haven’t seen anything that shows that Melo is that much better than Kevin.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He scored when he was set up by Miller and Iverson too so it wasn’t just about being set up by Billups. It was about being led by someone who could push him and the rest of the team. Billups was the main guy. Melo was the highest and best scorer. Big difference there.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    No, he wasn’t. Billups was the leader. Which is why Melo struggled before he played with him and he’s struggled since. He has another leader now with Jason Kidd (who’s older than Billups was when Melo had him in Denver). But we’ll see what happens. He won’t be the leader of a team, he’s proven himself unable to do that this far. He will be the top scorer, but scoring a lot doesn’t make you a leader. You’re confusing scoring points with leading a team. Also, that quote is pretty stupid. Even if box scores didn’t exist, anyone who watched the Nuggets play that season saw Melo score and they saw Chauncey doing what he did in Detroit. Show leadership. Control games.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You have a point there. I’m just not willing to discredit Kevin for not having a great repertoire in the post yet. If he couldn’t score any other way, I’d take issue with it. I’d also say that LeBron being in the post was great for the Heat not only because it kept he and Wade from just being out on the perimeter trying to slash to the basket. It was helpful also because they have shooters like Mike Miller (now Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis) and Chalmers who also hit big shots. Kevin can, and I believe he will, improve in the post. But the effect it should have or would have on the team won’t be seen until they have capable shooters around him. He might be the best outside shooter on the team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    disagree dude

  • http://www.facebook.com/qcollingwood Interdico Scriptor

    Where are the regulars? Is there another forum i’m missing out on? This is a good ranking. Blake was a good ranking. Deal with it…

  • RedDragon10

    True argument but remember numbers don’t represent team success, and any one who puts individual success over team value will always be detrimental to the team. That being said, as a New Yorker, I do wish him the best of luck and hopefully a New York team that doesn’t face a first round exit. Last year, I was praying that NY got the 8th seed because I believed they had a chance against an injured Bulls team. I knew they didn’t stand a chance against Miami and I was actually surprised they even pulled out a win.

  • danpowers

    wtf r u talking about now? i was all about la, dirk, pau and bosh. as they r clearly better players as love. hell, even kg and duncan could arguably bring ur franchise more wins during this coming season.

    to me melo is just a matter of taste if u put him above or below love. i think melo is the better player but i wont argue that much if somebody says love should rank higher. i just understand why slam put melo above.

  • danpowers

    me too

  • danpowers

    dont wanna take that away from chauncey. but taking the ball and score in the clutch, take a team and the responsibility on your shoulders and hitting a high number of these doesnt make him a bandwagon guy unable to lead neither. when considering his early exists please also look at the list of teams he was facing there during the years and compare these rosters to the nuggets. what is that all about anyway? its the kevin love article not the melo article.

  • danpowers

    not only that. health, right guys at the right time on the team, right matchups and so on also played a part in that outcome this year and he was in the form of his life (so far). billups played a great role in that but you cant take away from anthony that he contributed to the success in the same way.

  • Datkid

    lmao

  • Drig

    2012 – Heat with Shump injured
    2011 – Celtics with Amare injured
    2 times the Spurs when their core was young
    2 times the Lakers when Kobe-Pau were young
    1st rookie season : Sam Cassell-KG Minny team.
    They should’ve won vs Utah and should’ve performed better as a team vs LAC but Melo hasn’t had enough luck matchup wise to go far in the POs. Esp. since his team never had the most talent and he played most of his years in a tougher western conference.

    Still thought Melo would be 11 though.

  • Cameron

    I’m not a Knicks fan but Melos one of my favorite players and he’s better than a declining DWade, Deron, possibly Westbrook and Rondo(and I’m a Celtics fan).

  • danpowers

    the thing about melo is: he could be better than each of these because he has all the tools. the problem is just that he never really used his tools properly except stretches in his carreer e.g. the 08/09 campaign or his scoring frenzy last april. we’ll see soon if he lerned from that

  • Mike From Spain

    In the writeup it says clearly: They had Love at 8, but he’ll miss 6 – 8 weeks, which knocks him three spots down the list. So Slam does not think Love is better than Melo

  • Mike From Spain

    People, Slam thinks Love is better than Melo. It says so in the writeup, they had Love at 8 but as he broke his shooting hand and will miss 16-20 games they moved him to 11.

  • sonson

    1. lebron
    2. durant
    3. kobe
    4. rondo
    5. cp3
    6. d will
    7. westbrook
    8. melo
    9. d howard
    10. wade

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You have no ground to stand on here. What makes you think those guys are better? What have you seen from them that makes you believe they’re better than Love right now? KG and Duncan at this stage in their careers wouldn’t bring more wins than Love, I don’t know how you could come up with that. If Rondo wasn’t who he is and Pierce was any less of a player than he is, KG may be retired by now. Same with Duncan without Parker and Ginobili. Yet you think that they would bring more wins than Love playing on a team that is significantly worse than the teams they play on now? This isn’t 2002. Neither one of those guys are franchise carriers anymore and haven’t been for quite a few seasons.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    It’s not really subjective at all if you watched the games and heard from people who were around the team about Billups being the leader. Not one person who was around them said anything about Melo being anything other than the best scorer.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    I don’t put that much stock in him taking those shots given that if he wasn’t shooting, he’d be useless on the floor. So of course he’s going to do the only thing he appears to be able to do. He’s hit clutch shots but I don’t expect anything less from a pure scorer. That does not make him a leader. It just makes him a pure scorer. He’s not a bandwagon guy, but he hasn’t shown himself willing to truly lead a team which takes more than just taking and making clutch shots. He was on the Nuggets for 5 seasons before Iverson arrived and it looked to me like Iverson took over that team and led along with Marcus Camby. And then Billups arrived and without question also took over that team. In 5 or 6 seasons, Melo didn’t make that team his. He simply has to do more than score to be a leader. The only reason he stood out and stands out (which is different than leading) was/is because of his superior scoring ability.

  • north

    Love has high basketball IQ and that alone should give him top 10 rights. This guy is an old school player.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    KLove games nice. But he’s kinda a diva

  • esmooth

    people dont understand….kevin love is the only person on that team the last few year which lead to such get numbers……when he was on the team with Al jefferson his rebounds was down because he has someone else who gets board and their is also some one else that can score…..if you put bosh on that team now or amare or griffin or bynum those guys would avg the same or better…its crazy to say hes better than bynum or amare who has played on winning team with other good players and avg same points but little less rebounds smh

  • Max

    LMAO this is kinda ironic lol

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    Thank you RJ

  • Max

    Don’t do drugs kids

  • Max

    Andre Miller has high basketball IQ and that alone should give him top 10 rights.
    Very logical…

  • Max

    Maybe he got less rebounds and points because
    -
    DrummmmmMmmMmmMmMM
    He came from the bench??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Love is better than Melo. Everyone who isn’t a Knicks fan knows this. SLAM knows this as well, but Love’s injury pushed him back.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Love is injured. He got pushed back do to the injury. SLAM had him ahead of Melo in the original rankings, i guarantee it.

  • LakeShow

    lol

  • LakeShow

    Co-Sign BAMN

  • LakeShow

    I don’t know what’s with you and hating on Love, it’s widely excepted he is the best PF in the L. Hate away, but you can’t take that away. Personally I have him as 3 behind Pau and Dirk only in the PF convo.

  • danpowers

    put melo below him then i dont mind. i was referring to bosh, la, dirk and pau

  • danpowers

    id also say that aldrige and bosh are also still better than him

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Ah, my bad. Yeah we already talked about this issue

  • danpowers

    then ill take it as you say. and as i already stated a couple of times above: i wouldnt have any problem with melo ranking higher. my point was just that a couple of 4s out there are still better than love.

  • danpowers

    i stated it above already scroll up man.
    kg and duncan: they are true leaders on both sides of the ball, theyd get your whole defense better still. even though they are holding back, if they have to they are still capable of scoring. love just totally lacks defense and i dont consider players as elite who cant defend. there r many guys out there who save a little energy on d and suck on that end. unless it counts and they shift a gear up.
    to loves favor: i dont blame him to be lazy, he actually cares about d, he isnt just capable of having an impact defensively except rebounding. but you also gotta make guys miss shots first. thats like 50% of the game.

  • Lorne

    How is he better than Deron? Explain to us. There is no team in the league that would take Melo over Deron and there’s good reason for that. Melo is a frequently out of shape ball stopper who plays little to no defense. He isn’t even better than Westbrook or Wade, as those two can pass the ball fairly decent when they want. He isn’t even better than Rondo’s no jumpshot having self. Rondo plays d and can pass and rebounds great for a guy his size, which Melo seldom does.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    KG and Duncan aren’t holding back…they’re old.

  • danpowers

    kg didnt look very old by the end of last season neither in the playoffs

  • Cameron

    I’ve never seen Melo out of shape really. And you are right though that he does play little to no defense. But how many star players actually play D now in the NBA? Melo hasn’t exactly had anyone to pass to in his career besides A.I. and until he got to the Knicks. And to me, he’s a lot better than Wade and still better than Westbrook and Deron.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    He’s not young enough to carry a team, period. Neither is Duncan. They’re not holding back. This is who they are now. That’s the point.

  • danpowers

    the argument we had got me thinking twice about love and i think i was a bit too harsh on him. mea culpa
    they are holdding back BECAUSE they are old, they cant bring it 36mpg 82 games but come playoff time at least kg shifts some gears up. he is also a valuable defensive enforcer who pushes the whole team and td is a defensive anchor. you cant under estimate the contribution those guys still give to their teams

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Not underestimating them. They aren’t franchise players anymore. Still very productive. But Kevin Love is a franchise player now. That’s what needs to be pointed out here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.kelleher.1610 Andrew Kelleher

    Great argument with Kevin Love

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