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15 Responses to “NY Times: Kevin Love’s Rare Combination of Talents”
Anybody else wonder if the lack of fouls by Love is an indication of a lack of defense?
I honestly haven't seen a single TWolves game this season, and Love got very little burn in Turkey this season, but I do remember my main man Dennis Rodman raising Phil Jackson's ire back in the day for abandoning defensive sets to go rebound chasing - and Rodman was a good defender to start off. Is there reason Rambis hesitated to give Love big minutes last season and early this season because Kevin's more committed to chasing caroms than to playing team defense?
On the other hand Larry Bird played very dedicated team defense and also secured a lot of defensive rebounds because his role gave him those opportunities.
Totally off-topic but I just thought about it while watching Heats/Magic. The announcers were talking about how it is hard to win with a player like Howard because you can't go to him at the end of the game due to his poor free throw shooting. They noted his 58% career mark (though it may have just been the season mark). Anyway, if I understand Offensive Efficiency property, it is generally given as Points per 100 possessions, yes? Well, if a player is fouled every time down the court and makes 58% of his free throws, doesn't that work out to an OE of 116P/100Pos? Am I missing something? Isn't that phenomenal? Now, I realize that Dwight or other similar players would have limited utility if a team is trying to make a quick comeback and that a 58% shooter cannot be relied up to make 1.16 points every time down the court. But why wouldn't you just let the team hack him, pickup the occasional And-1 and put up an absurd OE? I'm missing something, right?
No, you're not. However, at the end of games when being fouled, you'd like a good bit more than 1.16 PPP--it's quite easy to do better with good shooters (see how OKC closes out the close games). That 1.16 doesn't account for turnovers, though, so it probably would be down near 1.00.
Thanks. I guess I was thinking of a back and forth game, where teams might not otherwise be fouling. I'm sure most end of game scenarios have enough other factors where putting the ball in Dwight's hands wouldn't be ideal. But I wanted to make sure I understood the theory correctly.
I was just rambling about Love as an all-star in general. The defense thing is just a knock on what's still been a remarkable season for him. I'd go for Aldridge this season for the All-star, but this is pretty far off-topic.
Re:7, not exactly, because I think WS will sum closer to Pythagorean wins than actual W-L. For example the Twolves' Win shares sum to 15 or 16, which is the wins you'd expect given their point differential and average 'luck' in close games.
Regarding Love on D, I think if he was on a team that played good D, he'd be a lot better. It's not like the guy is lacking in the effort department. Any number of players have gone from being utter defensive liabilities to being solid when put into a good system that utilizes their abilities well.
The Timberwolves have the worst guards in the league, and Darko Milcic as their center. It's hard to read too much into Love's defensive ability in that context. Frankly, it's hard to say whether his rebound rates are partially inflated due to the weakness of his supporting cast (not to say that he's not a great rebounder).