1. KEVIN LOVE, Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Love has been unprecedentedly good. He has already done things in his brief career that have never been done before. Typically, when that happens, phrases like “redefining the position” start getting thrown around. He is the only player in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 13 rebounds per game while shooting over 37 percent from downtown in a season. Actually, he’s done it twice. And he just turned 24 years old. He’s one of only a handful of legitimate MVP candidates and will be relied upon every night as he fights to propel the Minnesota Timberwolves into the playoffs for the first time in almost 10 years.
Unfortunately for the Wolves, his super macho knuckle push-ups have him out for the first several weeks of the season. The crazy thing is that even with the missed games, he’ll still be among the league leaders in rebounds and total threes made.
His 26 points per game last season was the highest mark for a power forward since Dirk averaged 26.6 back in 2006. But unlike Dirk, Love is statistically the best rebounding power forward since Dennis Rodman. He’s the first player since Shaq to average over 26 points and 13 boards for a season. He owned the fifth-best PER in the league last year, and was selected to the All-NBA Second Team. If his defense continues to improve like it did last season, he could be atop this list for many years to come. And hopefully the Wolves management can convince him to hold off on the knuckle push-ups until after he retires.
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