The NBA usually has one two, or every three new “trends” that show up in the early comings of every season. This season is no exception. You could argue that the topic to be highlighted the most, is the situation in South Beach, where it is finally coming together for the Miami Heat and their ‘trio’ of superstars. The Heat are finally “clicking,” with Dwayne Wade and LeBron James taking their games into the next level, while Chris Bosh remains the best robin’s robin in the whole National Basketball Association. Also, the Miami Heat have won 13 straight road games, three shy of the NBA record.
But although the 27-9 and finally thriving Miami Heat is a great topic and definitely “trending,” I want to focus on what has simply become a night-in and night-out spectacle of rebounding monsters.
Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.
This off-season, heavily criticized GM David Kahn cheaply acquired Michael Beasley for the Heat for a pair of second round picks, as Miami cleared cap space. However, he also sent the main piece from the Kevin Garnett package, Al Jefferson, to the Utah Jazz for two first rounders. The move brought fire to Minnesota as Jefferson was supposedly the franchise player for the Minnesota Timberwolves organization. But Kahn knew what he was doing, he knew what I knew, when I traded Devin Harris for Kevin Love this off-season in my NBA Franchise Fantasy Basketball League on ESPN.com. The middle was now paved free for use of Kevin Love. Many wondered if Love could be a threat in the league. The 2008 5th overall pick was highly regarded as a potentially excellent role player. However, trading away “Big” Al Jefferson ignited talks that Kevin Love would now have to be the franchise player Jefferson could have been for Minnesota. With Rubio still overseas and Johnny Flynn injured at the start of the season, David Kahn’s job could depend on the production and teamwork of Kevin Love and Michael Beasley.
25 straight games with a double-double, simply remarkable – and that is exactly what “K-Love” has done.” Finishing last night’s loss at San Antonio with 20 points and 20 rebounds, Kevin Love is becoming a ball-hawk and tenacious, fierce, and unstoppable rebounder for the Timberwolves. Every night he puts on a show, rewarding fantasy owners who took a chance on a player who barely cracked ESPN’s Top 50 Fantasy Rankings to start the season. Along with the spectacle he puts on every game on the boards, he has also become incredibly versatile and multi-dimensional, making people believe he can be the franchise player for the Timberwolves. He’s no Ray Allen or even close to it, but for a 6’9, bulky big man, he worked hard this off-season to improve his jump shot. Not only from 18-feet out from the basket, but also behind the three-point line, Love has become an absolute powerhouse in the NBA, making the opposing defenders respect his jumper, but also try to keep the machine under 20 rebounds for the duration of the game.
I intended to talk solely about Kevin Love and his remarkable statistics to start the NBA season so far, but I cannot fail to mention a rookie who is doing similar things every game.
After missing all of last season with a knee injury, the Clippers’ Blake Griffin has become the other young, athletic, and active rebounder plus scorer in the NBA this season. Griffin has become a true force on the glass, and the league is learning quick that this young man from the University of Oklahoma is for real, and they are learning the hard way. The you-just-got-dunked-on-by-a-rookie-how’s-that-feel way.
He’s a freak, and so is Kevin Love, and that’s trending.