Monday, November 11, 2013

Kevin Love - Staring Pretty Hard at a League MVP

Love at 27/14/4.  Similar seasons?  Kareem, Wilt, Elgin Baylor.  That is it.  And that was back in the day when these guys played 43+ MPG and the pace of play was higher (there were more available points and rebounds).

Certainly no one would confuse Kevin Love's game with how Wilt/Kareem/Elgin Baylor played.  The one guy who seems most similar is Bob McAdoo.  In his 1974-75 MVP season, Bob McAdoo went 34-14-2 (with 3.2 steals+blocks).  His Win Shares per 48 were .242.

Kevin Love's Win Shares per 48 right now are .326.  That is a higher number than Wilt's 1963-64 season in which he was the MVP and put up one of the 4 best statistical seasons of all-time (arguably the best - as previously noted, Wilt's #2 option was Tom Meschery, and that team made the NBA finals).

In the history of the game, only 1 guy has ever attempted over 5 threes a game and had a WS/48 number of over .3.  LeBron James in his Cleveland days had one such season (5.1 threes attempted).  Love is attempting 6.7 threes a game.  No one has ever cleared .224 WS/48 while attempting over 6 threes a game (Kobe reached .224, Ryan Anderson .219, James Harden .206).  Love is playing at a level 33% above the best level ever achieved while hoisting 6+ threes a game.

So will the Wolves finish 58-24?  Only if Love can keep up this pace, but it is a pace that the league has never seen and one that seems basically impossible to maintain.  If he does, he will be unanimous league MVP.

HM

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