Yeah, yeah, yeah, shake your head and roll your eyes at me for writing about Kevin Love yet again. So what? Love is crazy good and I am going to keep preaching it until everyone acknowledges it. So what did he do this time, you ask? Let me tell you.
Love had the first 30-30 game in 28 years in the NBA. He finished with 31 points and 31 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the New York Knicks 112-103. It was also the first time a player had recorded 30 rebounds since Charles Barkley had 33 boards on November 2, 1996 against the Phoenix Suns. Barkley was on the Rockets at that point of his career. Moses Malone was the last player to have a 30-30 game in 1982 with 32 points and 38 rebounds. Interestingly enough, Malone was on the Rockets when he reached that feat.
Kurt Rambis seems to have realized that playing Love bodes well for his team. Since seeing his minutes increased beginning with the fifth game of the season, Love has averaged just under 17 total rebounds per game.
Minnesota trailed by 21 points early in the third quarter before Love began to exert his dominance over the Knicks. He collected 15 rebounds in the quarter and scored 11 points. The Timberwolves, as a team, had 23 total rebounds in the third quarter. Love exploded in the second half of the game as he went into the locker room at the half having only scored six points.
Of the 31 rebounds that Love totaled on the evening, 12 were offensive rebounds and 19 were defensive. It certainly helped his cause that the Knicks shot 28 percent in the second half allowing him to clean the glass with ease. He had five assists and a block to add to his record night.
Love joined some rare company with his performance on Friday night. Let it be said now, if Rambis continues to give Love the minutes he deserves, Love will end the season as the NBA’s leading rebounder. Hands down. That guy in Orlando that everyone praises will be a distant second.
I have been telling you that Kevin Love is good for some time now. It looks like he is even better than I could have guessed.