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Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 8:35 am  |  66 responses

Post Up: The Contenders

Five of the West’s top six teams get wins, including Kobe’s furious finish at Golden State.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

Good morning world! No time to waste, games on games from last night, so let’s get to it:

Sixers 103, Cavaliers 85

Remember Jodie Meeks? He’s been buried on the Sixers’ depth chart behind Evan Turner and Lou Williams, but thanks to an ailing knee for Andre Iguodala, Meeks got his second straight start—and this time, he made it count. The Kentucky product rained in 7 threes and finished with a career-high 31 points on just 16 shots to lead Philadelphia to a half-game lead over Boston in the Atlantic Division race. Jrue Holiday won the point guard battle, scoring 19 points and dishing out 6 assists, while ROY frontrunner Kyrie Irving struggled his way to 12 points on 4-13 shooting, plus 7 dimes and 5 turnovers. Irving settled for jumpers rather than attacking the lane, and it showed—the Sixers outscored the the Cavs 54-24 in the paint. Philly is now 13-2 when they score over 100 points, and 28-22 overall, while Cleveland has lost 7 of 8.

Bucks 108, Hawks 101

Josh Smith put on a 30-point, 18-rebound, 5-assist show in Milwaukee, but the Hawks turned the ball over 22 times—good for 25 Bucks points—and Monta Ellis scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as Atlanta fell to 30-21 on the year. Even with DNPs for Ersan Ilyasova (back) and Carlos Delfino (groin), Milwaukee led by as many as 17 in the first half, and managed to move to within 2 games of New York for the No. 8 spot in the East. The Bucks held Joe Johnson to 4-14 shooting (11 points, 8 assists), while Brandon Jennings scored 18 points and Ellis had easily his best game since joining his new team. Even when the Hawks threatened late, the ex-Warrior drilled a 15-footer out of a timeout with 1:27 remaining in the game to give the Bucks a 6-point cushion—enough to seal the deal.

Grizzlies 93, Timberwolves 86

In a battle straight out of the animal kingdom, the Grizzlies got double-digit scoring nights from all five starters and Memphis has now won the last seven in a row against the Wolves. Rudy Gay scored 21 points, Dante Cunningham notched season-highs in points (13) and rebounds (14) in place of a banged-up Marc Gasol and Mareese Speights had 18 points on 8-11 shooting, as the Grizz survived another big night from Kevin Love, who racked up 28 points and 11 rebounds, plus 4 blocked shots. Memphis scored 22 fast break points and held Minnesota to 39 percent field goal shooting for the game. The Grizzlies are a half-game back of the Mavericks for the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference Playoff standings.

Mavericks 90, Rockets 81

Dallas was down 19-6 to start the game, but Jason Terry scored 7 points in 60 seconds to spark a 16-2 third-quarter Mavericks run that put the Champs in front, and they came all the way back to improve to 19-8 at home with the win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, Terry finished with 12 and the Mavericks held the advantage at the free throw line (16-20 vs. 9-12) as Dallas beat Houston for the second time in four nights despite 22 points and 8 rebounds from Luis Scola, who dominated in the first half but saw double-teams for most of the last two quarters. Also, there was a Lamar Odom sighting! LO had 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 23 minutes. Progress! With the loss, Houston drops out of the No. 8 spot in the West—but that will likely change from night to night at this point.

Spurs 107, Suns 100

With 1:30 to play and the Suns trailing by 7 points with possession in hand, Phoenix’s optimistic play-by-play man offered, “the Suns are still alive!” The Suns promptly turned the ball over, then gave up an offensive rebound on the other end. And from there, San Antonio closed things out with ease, winning their 5th straight game and improving to 34-14 behind 26 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Duncan and 24 points and 7 assists from Tony Parker. Manu Ginobili racked up a 13-5-5 line off the bench while fellow reserve Stephen Jackson took the night off. (What is it with the Spurs and being able to sit whoever they want and still win?) Parker sparked a crucial 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter with 8 points on his own, and the Spurs won despite giving up a career-high 32 points to Shannon Brown, who started and played 42 minutes.

Thunder 109, Trail Blazers 95

Oklahoma City jumped out to a 32-18 lead after one quarter of play and though the Blazers made a 17-2 run in the third quarter to close the gap, the Thunder had too much offense to compete with, cruising to their 4th straight W. Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 25, James Harden had 21 and OKC shot 57 percent from the field—they are 17-0 when shooting 50 percent or better. Portland is now 3-4 since Nate McMillan was canned, and they’ve entered random-starting-lineup territory, last night featuring Nolan Smith’s first start (1-9 shooting, 3 points, 3 assists). JJ Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 21 and 20 points respectively, while Jamal Crawford shot just 1-7 with 2 points and Raymond Felton was not with the team due to a family matter.

Lakers 104, Warriors 101

With 1:22 to play, David Lee scored on a left-handed flip against Pau Gasol, giving the Warriors their first lead of the game, 97-95. And then Kobe Bryant introduced himself to the game. After going 7-22 from the field up until that point, Kobe was 2-2 with the game on the line, drilling back-to-back tough (and so very Kobe-esque) jumpers with two defenders running at him to will the Lakers past frisky Golden State. Bryant finished with 30 points and Pau Gasol had 19 points and 17 rebounds—it was Andrew Bynum’s turn to be angry at Coach Mike Brown, since he sat in crunch time and played only 23 minutes after scoring 11 points on 4-13 shooting with only 5 rebounds. Then again, he randomly hoisted a three-pointer and repped Brick City at the free throw line. Bynum’s odd behavior aside, Los Angeles still dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Dubs 52 to 35. The Lake Show ruined an unusually sane performance from Golden State, who turned the ball over just 5 times and got 23 points apiece from Lee and Brandon Rush.

Line of the Night: Lots of 30+ point nights around the L, but how about this nugget on Kobe: he passed Michael Jordan for the second-most points ever with one NBA franchise, trailing only Karl Malone.

Moment of the Night: Jodie Meeks shows us what it looks like to be on fire.

Dunk of the Night: Rudy Gay with the nasty crossover and nastier finish.

Tonight: A 10-spot on Wednesday, including Magic-Knicks on ESPN, Chicago at Atlanta and Jazz-Celtics. I’ll be on Nets duty for NBA.com as they take on the Pacers in Jersey, so Eldon will be filling in. Don’t hurt him.

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m telling y’all, Memphis (with ZBo close to 100%) has a chance at making it to the NBA Finals. They have everything needed to pull it off; a steady handed PG, one of the best perimeter defenders at the 2, a SF that could hold his own against all-nba 3s, one of the best post players at the 4 and the second best center out west. Not to mention, I think they have one of the most underrated coaches in Lionel Hollins.

  • http://www.blogspot.com LLC#12

    ^ I’d agree..a little improbable but, a chance none-the-less.. I’d say I’m about 60% certain OKC make it out of the west though.

  • Drig

    JT21, do you think they’ll tank to meet the Spurs??? Or will they go head to head with LA ( both teams strengths overlap ). I’m thinking they’re gonna tank the last 2-3 games of the season to get the Spurs but LA plays the Spurs 3 times next month and if LA sweeps them, we’ve got a WHOLE different ballgame…….the West is wide open this time around. OKC still aren’t the favorites. The Spurs are the deepest team. No one wants to play LAL, you can’t write off Dallas and the Grizz are a pain in the a** for every team out West……

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    The west is going to be fun man, with Sessions on board for the Lakers, they look pretty good all of sudden and we’re all reminded they still have 2 very skilled 7 footers along with a man possesed, now they have some speed and a distributor too? OKC is sick, Dallas can still play ball, Memphis is dangerous, LAC is still really really talented and you just don’t know what CP3 is going to do in the playoffs with all this talent. The Spurs are still a tough matchup to the Thunder and this is all going to be very intresting unlike the East where I believe the Heat and Bulls will meet in the ECF.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Drig, I doubt it because tanking doesn’t guarantee anything and they are also only .5 gms back off that 4 spot (HCA in the 1st round).

  • AD

    The west has been the best since 1998. This is the conference of true champions.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Marreese Speights went 8-11 who was guarding him, Kevin Love? (hint: duh)

  • logues

    i agree with jtaylor bout memphis, they are looking tough… tho i think zbo has to be 100% which looks like hes far from

  • logues

    if i had to pick a finals champ right now… man i think i would go with the bulls if rose is healthy.. they are ridiculously deep and have good players and depth at every position

  • Drig

    Just looked at the standings………we might have Lakers vs Dallas right off the bat here….I still don’t think the Clips are good enough this year. They sorely miss Chauncey, their D is worse than a lackadaisical LA team ( which is pretty bad itself ) and Blake isn’t good enough to be a solid #2 as well. Plus, they whine too much for my liking. One thing’s for certain though, whoever comes out of the West isn’t going to come out unscathed. The fans win. The ECF finalist will win. But the West teams are in for a long long journey to the Finals. BTW, who’d be more scared of the Grizz? OKC or Spurs???

  • logues

    gotta be the spurs since they lost to the grizz last yr and okc beat them last yr

  • Drig

    Last year, Grizz had Battier instead of Gay, Z-Bo instead of Zzz-Bo, Spurs lacked Manu and OKC had a good run. So I’m not sure about going with what happened last year. The bigger problem is, if you’re the Grizz, would you want to give Pop a second chance at figuring you out with a very deep and HEALTHY cast??? TD’s been resurfacing slowly as we head to the POs too.

  • logues

    kevin love had 28 points and 11 rebounds (duh) and 4 blocks

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    he had 28 points on 22 shots, why is that impressive? plus, i was just showing how terrific of a defender he is, the guy he was matched up with put up 18 points on 11 shots (which is quite a bit more efficient then what KLove did on the other end)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    -Kobe being Kobe.
    -Despite Speights putting up 18 on 11 shots…. K-Love is still a top 3 PF(durr). Do I need to list what K-Love did to your boy Aldridge among other “good defending” 4′s nbk? Thought I did that already.
    -Brown better get these guys to respect him stat. It’s not going to happen by ingenious coaching so he better start motivating, because the talent is here with this Lakers team. I don’t know why Sessions was registered ineffective last night. He only had maybe one good play all night. We gotta utilize that kid.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    Thats one game NBK. In 15 games post allstar break K-love has threw up 29 and 13 on 47% from the field and 43 % from 3. This Is the big ball of inefficiency you are attacking on the regular here? And so what he Is not a great defender YET, does that mean he Is not playing AMAZING basketball? Was Charles Barkley a great defender at ANY point In his career? NO. Does that mean he Is not an all time great? NO.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I don’t care if you have him as a top 3 PF, he is a horrible defender, which has been highlighted again. Anyway did you even watch that game between Portland and Minnesota? Do you know what happened during that game, or even if Aldridge was guarding Love?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Paul I didn’t say anything about how he’s been playing offensively. All I did was show how bad Love is as a defender, Logues brought up his offensive game, all I said was “why is what he did so impressive”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Oh and Lakeshow, I’ll answer the question I asked you, for you. No, Aldridge was not guarding Love. Camby did until he got hurt (then came back in and guarded him in the 4th). Wallace and Batum primarily guarded him (because of all the pick and popping they need Aldridge to protect the paint). Aldridge guarded Pekovic for the majority of his minutes.

  • davidR

    who caught the bucks game last night?
    myung? any of you hawks fans?
    just curious — is monta running the offense, with jennings playing off ball? how is it working over there?

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    You attack his “bad” shooting nights almost as much as his fans bump his good ones. I think he Is definitely a below average defender, but given enough time he will develop Into a serviceable one. He hustles like mad and has a work ethic with demonstrable results. I don’t think his deficiencies on the defensive end will work themselves out, he’s just been asked to do SO much offensively right now.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Whats your point nbk? No one disagrees that Love has allot of work to do on the defensive end. The thing is though, that out of Superstar PF’s, only 2 or 3 play noticeably better defense. Dirk, Z-Bo, Amare are similar or worse defensively. He also shows marked improvement some nights. He actually defended the rim quite well in last nights game.
    -I missed the Portland game due to “block out restrictions”(SOAB)I watched the entire game last night. If Aldridge wasn’t guarding Love then WTH? I mean he is a *phenomenal* defender, right? Why would you not keep your great defending PF on the other teams only scoring threat that also plays PF… makes no sense if he didn’t guard him.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    They need Aldridge to “protect the paint.” Hmmm, Seems Marcus Freaking Camby should be doing that, and LA should have been on K-Love. Unless they that LA couldn’t handle him?? Sounds like K-Love was a match up nightmare for Portland is what it sounds like.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    I should have said I think his defensive deficiencies WILL work themselves out. His scoring and board work are just to damn good at the moment for me to really care right now.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    what does SOAB mean?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Teddy: son of a bee sting

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Why isn’t Beasley playing more? I know they are shopping him for the off season, but that guy could help them allot. He is hitting 48% of his 3 point shots since All Star. And they aren’t wide open jumpers.

    ————————FREE BEASLEY!———————–

  • logues

    Lakeshow: beas is a good player… but he does tend to take dumb shots and if his offense isnt going he aint really good for much else, plus the wolves desperately need a good sg, so i hope thats why they’re shopping him

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Yeah, but despite those negative qualities he has, he is still twice the player that Williams and Johnson are. Martell Webster shouldn’t ever be a starter. It doesn’t add up. I understand they just don’t like him though.

  • logues

    ya johnson is terrible… i think williams has shown improvement tho and imo he aint too far behind beasley.. i was at the game vs the lakers when rubio got hurt and dwill looked really good. he just needs consistency i guess. and ya what it is about beas.. sometimes it looks like he doesnt even care to be there or something, just the way he walks around the court and carries himself just looks lazy.. but maybe thats just how he is.. then again hes prolly just high

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Beas has teice the talent of Williams and Johnson and about 1/4 of the brain…bad bball IQ and laziness really put a damper on his potential.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He was not guarding Love because as good of a defender as he is, Camby is better. And then when Camby went down (literally fell down and hit his face on the court) they had no Center. There was about 10 minutes in that game Aldridge guarded the PF spot, because Joel Pryzbilla got minutes.
    .
    And my point was just to highlight how bad Love is defensively, which I will keep on doing. There is a reason Love’s giant statistical games don’t translate to wins….because his counterpart is usually also having a giant statistical game. Kevin Love is like the player version of the 08 Warriors.

  • logues

    so ur making it sound like camby is a pretty dang good defender then? i guess it makes it even more impressive that love dropped 42 on them… and before rubio got hurt they were .500 and possibly playoff bound. they were winning games, and playing great vs good teams. not bad for the 2nd youngest team in the league

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    Per 100 possessions, the T- wolves score 107.4 points and give up 104.3. With him off the court they score 97.9 points and give up 101.9. VALUE.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Are you not reading the comments and just responding like a drunken sailor? Camby got hurt. He played like 15 minutes that whole game.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    *With him on the court they score 107.4 and give up 104.3 sorry

  • logues

    im responding like a drunken sailor

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Paul, I am not saying and have never said the Timberwolves are worse with Kevin Love that would be absurd. They just aren’t that much better, especially for a guy a lot of people are saying is the best 4 in the NBA. The best players at certain positions make their teams considerably better,
    .
    Kevin Love makes the Wolves 7 points better when he’s on the court.
    .
    The Mavericks are 8 points better with Dirk (even though he started the first month of the season horribly)
    .
    The Heat are 12 points better with LeBron
    .
    Clippers are 16 points better with Chris Paul
    .
    The Lakers are 9 points better with Kobe
    .
    And the Magic are 14 points better with Dwight
    .
    Other then Kobe, do you see the difference?

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    Nbk, I have never actually said that Love Is the best 4 In the game, I have said regularly that he Is at least top three and that his beauty as a scoring and rebounding machine helps his team immensely which i felt that stat helped prove, but does not completely convey his value. I have consistently heard people on this site refer to him as nothing more than stat stuffer on a bad team, which I think Is a baseless claim which denies the immense strides by the team and Kevin this year and his IMMENSE importance to It. They were on course to be a playoff team. If you put Rubio In for the season and take K-Love out that team Is worse than the 17 win team from last year. Derrick Rose makes the Bulls 5 points better, do you think that completely encapsulates his value? Is he not a “great” player who makes his team much better?

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    And to compare his contributions to those of 7,8, 9 year vets like Lebron, Dwight etc Is a little unfair….even tho Kev Is ahead of Dwight In P.E.R….

  • Sarah

    “What is it with the Spurs and being able to sit whoever they want and still win?” They are scary deep lol.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I have Love at #4 in the Power Forward list. So I don’t really disagree as much as have a different perspective on the position. But there are people here who say he is clearly top 3 (uhm no) or that he is the best 4 in the league, or that he has been the best 4 this season although he isn’t actually the best (all of those I disagree with, even though he can be the best 4 on any given night.) at the position in terms of overall skill and ability to carry a team. (most notably among us commenters is Jukai)
    .
    P.E.R doesn’t acount for defense other then Steals and Blocks and it over values rebounding. Kevin Love gets almost 9 defensive rebounds a game, a number that should probably be closer to 6 or 7 if he were playing any semblance of help defense. So his PER being higher then Dwight’s is 100% irrelevant.
    .
    And I feel like Derrick Rose is over valued, so I don’t really have much to say about how much better the Bulls are with him v without him. Their biggest strengths aren’t really affected by Rose at all, (defense and offensive rebounding), his true value is shown more in the playoffs when scoring in a slow’d down game is more important.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    I think efficiency, or the lack there of Is one of the frequent accusations leveled at Love. I know P.E.R Is no perfect system but It Is no coincidence that the top ten reads like a who’s, who Of Basketball. I agree that Love’s help defense leaves a lot to be desired but I think It is a bit much to shave a few boards off because of It. I don’t think It Is a deliberate thing on his part, just a mental lapse. Am I to guess It’s Dirk, LA and Pau who you have over K-Love? Can you really excuse LA’s paltry board numbers? I think Love’s skill set Is great and expanding by the game. I think he Is ballin’ significantly better now than even the start of the season. I vehemently with those who say he has no post or mid-range game to speak of, as If he has been getting 29 a game recently soley off threes, long two’s and garbage buckets. I have him at three. I would still take Dirk and Pau In a playoff series

    Although his play In big games and In the clutch Is getting impressive…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    nbk, I know that K-Love is bad defender, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise, BUT, I can’t count on 1 hand the amount of times he went off his man to help defend a attacking player last night. He did it several times. I know he doesn’t always do this, but what I’m pointing out is that he can do the things you say he doesn’t do, but he doesn’t always do them consistently. He isn’t a complete sieve defensively (Amare, Boozer Cough Cough!!**). He can be, but in general I think that has allot to do with his load on the offensive end. We can’t expect a player to shoulder the offensive load and defensively be an elite player for their team. Some players can do that. Some. Not all. Not most matter a fact. He has shown improvement and I think with just a little help he could be an average to above average defender. He takes charges well. He obviously stays on the boards better than anyone and he is developing some aspects to his defensive game.
    Also remember that having a good defensive team around you helps you defensively. You think the Wolves are a good defensive team? They are awful. That’s partially on Love, but only partially.
    -BTW I’m not expecting a response(feel free to none the less) I know you got a busy life with your family and all.
    -Paul H, He has proven to be, yes, I’m going for it, *CLUTCH* … He has really proven to be able to step up for his team and he is one of a few big guys in the L that can drain 3′s on you and you can do nothing about it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I also don’t see K-Love getting less than 12 boards a game no matter what team he is on and how he changes his defense. Dude will always give you 12+ boards. Always(for the next decade).

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well if I had a team with a hole at the 4 spot and was good everywhere else I would actually take Love 5th. I would take Dirk, Pau, Bosh, and LA over Love if my best player were to be my 4. LA’s rebounding numbers are too low, he doesn’t do a good enough job, but they are also skewed by the pace the Trailblazers play, and because he is/was surrounded by good rebounders everywhere else. (Camby, Pryzbilla, Wallace, Batum, Thomas, – now JJ Hickson) are all above average to very good rebounders at their respective positions. Couple that with the slow pace the Blazers play & that Aldridge isn’t very good on the boards to begin with make his numbers look rather terrible.
    .
    From the 4 position (actually all big man positons) I value defense higher then probably everyone else does. And I understand that. Which i think is a really big contributing factor to why I disagree with so many people.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Lakeshow me and you don’t disagree about Love except I don’t see his offensive responsibilities are an excuse for his porous defense (and no, I don’t think Minnesota is even a little bit good defensively, but Love is a huge part of that, can’t expect the leader of your team to not play defense and everyone else to not follow suit). Honestly the difference between how I value Love and how you do is perspective. I would rather have the pick and roll defense and ability to guard the rim from guys like Dirk (i know it’s hard to believe, be he is not a bad defender, anywhere), Pau, LA, & Bosh, over the uber rebounding of Love. And offensively I would rather have a 4 who attracts double teams and scores better in isolation, over one who is a threat from 3 and is a terror on the glass. But offensively I have no gripes with Love, I would actually value him as the 2nd or 3rd best offensive 4 (between him and Pau after Dirk) I just wouldn’t take what he brings offensively coupled with what he doesn’t bring defensively over those other guys. Does that make sense?
    .
    And I’m literally turning off my computer and leaving work after this comment, so it might be a minute till i get back to you if you respond.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    Aldridge has an inch or so on K-Love and Is about 5 times the athlete and has been a mediocre rebounder his whole career (for a guy with his talent and at his position). I put a great deal of emphasis on D (‘Sheed was one of my favorite 4′s for just that reason) but It has to be properly weighted with the other-side of the Ball. And the VAST chasm which exists In production between K-Love and Aldridge or Bosh Is too great to be explained away by teammates.

    19.6 and 7.6 since the allstar break, Aldridge, you would really take him over Love? That team, with a lot of talent was falling apart with LA at the helm long before Portland blew It up at the trade deadline.

    Even when Bosh was the unquestioned man In Toronto, on bad teams he never got near Love’s production either.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    -Like you said we are on the same page(ish), but our perspectives on what is more important are different.
    I’m calling it quits for the day too (leaving work in about 10 mins. Going to try and have a good night with friends cause it’s my birthday, how did ya’ll forget??!!)
    -Have a good night all.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I care more about winning then production. If Loves ability to rebound was such a huge factor the Timberwolves would be an elite rebounding team, But they are closer to the middle of the pack in differential.
    .
    LA was the unquestioned best player on a 48 win team last year and the offense ran completely through him, so yes, I would take him over Love.
    .
    And look again at Bosh in Toronto. Love is a superior rebounder, that’s it.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Happy birthday Lake

  • seun

    Do you guys even know that the stats paint lamarcus Aldridge as a worst defender than love. Kevin love’s defensive win share is 2.3, Aldridge’s is 1.7. Kevin love’s defensive rating is 103, Aldridge’s is 105, according to synergy sports loves ppp overall defensive rating is 0.76, Aldridge’s is 0.8. so i don’t even know where you got the idea that Aldridge is a great defender because he isn’t, he is every bit the mediocre defender that love is, dirk is worse,Randolph is just as ,mediocre as love and Aldridge are, and smith is the best defender out of that group but he’s an inefficient scorer so I’m not even sure it even matters. Win shares love has the third highest win shares behind Lebron and Durant.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    Scorer, rebounder, three point shooter. Bosh has a half an assist on him and was a better defender. Thats It. And, once again, Love would have been the unquestioned best player on a team that, had Rubio not went down, would have finished at least 4 games over .500 In my opinion. Next season? If Rubio comes back unscathed and the Wolves can find a decent shooting guard? 55 wins. I’m calling It right now.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    :)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Paul H claiming big stuff for the lowly Wolves. I like it. I’ll stick with 50+ though to be safe lol.

  • http://espn.go.com/nba/ Paul H

    18-13 with Rubio In the starting lineup, good for 47 wins over an 82. And I think they will get better. I’m either being bold or stupid, can’t decide lol. Happy Birthday mate.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I am not saying bosh is better everywhere, but he’s not “worse” (except 3pt shooting and rebounding which I have acknowledged numerous times) – 24 points On 16 shots to 26 points on 19 shots does not make Love a better scorer especially if you actually watched both teams play (that Toronto team, this Timberwolves team). If the Wolves win enough to get in the playoffs and Love does big things in playoff games then my opinion will change, until then I don’t really care about the slight difference in stats.
    .
    Seun do you understand the context those stats are taken in? Do you understand the difference in the teams respective defenses?
    .
    And for the record, I acknowledged love is havin a better season then Aldridge and is playing better on a different page the other day. I just don’t think he’s as good of a player.

  • seun

    yes i do boozer ranks 5th in defensive win shares but that’s clearly becase the bulls team defense is so good that boozer is made to look like a capable defender, but he is a capable defender; he bought in to tom thibodeau and is not even close to being a liability at that end.obviously Nate McMillan is not the defensive mind that tom thibodeau was but he’s not mike d’antoni either, he teaches a good system and people generally respond to him. d’antoni is generally regarded ar a terrible coach when it comes to defense yet Tyson chandler has the tnth highest defensive win share in the nba; bottom line a great defender performs well regardless of the system. So thats not an excuse, i’ll go to the timberwolve game a few weeks ago kevin love scored 42 pints, Marcus camby playde ten minutes, Aldridge played 33, he guarded him for stretches in this game, and love clearly outplayed him in that game.

  • seun

    today kevin love has 38 points but the guy he’s matched up with has 14 points of 7 for 12 shooting, the dude dj white averages 7 points a game so i get your point that he’s a bad defender i just think that lamarcus is just as bad; negating your argument that he is possibly better than love.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    U didn’t watch that game. Or read the comments above though. I’m not going through all of this again. You can argue all you want about defensive win shares, defensive rating, But you clearly don’t actually watch the games or understand that those stats don’t show you anything by themselves. Love is clearly 100% a worse defender. I’m not wasting time explaining this, maybe someone else will.

  • http://slamonline slams chuck barkley

    Josh smith is a star in this league. It seems quite apparent he has passed joe johnson. Myung? Spurs look so very serious. All this crap about who doesn’t want to see who is just horseraddish. To win the title, you have to win four series. The opponent doesn’t matter, its usually against the other best teams. You can’t be worried about one particular team if you are a serious contender

  • seun

    an inbound play in the 1st quarter Kevin love gets the ball wallace comes in late doesn’t put a hand up fast enough and love makes him pay. that play shows his terrific three point shooting for a player of his size. second quarter in the game on march 7 love was in an iso play Aldridge was on him he did a shot fake and beat Aldridge to the rim he missed the layup but nevertheless he did beat Aldridge to the rim; he just got blocked by Andre miller. love is a bad defender in all areas but its not like Aldridge is a josh smith type of defender either he’s mediocre, the stats show it, the tape shows it, the fact that he isn’t considered an all nba type defender proves it. He’s not bad but he’s not good either; he’s probably better than love but does it matter if love isn’t even a liability at that end and is better in every offensive area with the exception of isolation.

  • seun

    my bad it was nicholas batum that blocked love on the play that i described, miller is on the nuggets i forgot my bad.

  • seun

    my bad it was nicholas batum that blocked love on the play that i just described.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Look at Aldridge’s defensive stats from last season I’m pretty sure those are a better representation of his ability on that end

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Aldridge is a better defender. Not by the incredibly massive margin that some think. But hands down better. 1 on 1 and help defense. I think Love can become a really good charge taker(Cool, I know right?) Which will help him squeeze out of becoming a ball stopping defender. He honestly just needs a good (defensive)team around him to make his defense unapparent.

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