If history is the gauge by which we assess the present, then in a few days Kevin Love will be screwed out of an All-Star game appearance. Just like he was in the rookie game a couple years back. Just like Al Jefferson was for the All-Star game the same year when he was clearly one of the top bigs in the West. Love isn't flashy enough, his team sucks, he plays in fly over country. The usual stuff.
Usually in these situations I would wait for the inevitable to happen and then complain about it. I thought I'd mix it up and go all preemptive on it this year.
Before I state the obvious, let me first address this claim that Love shouldn't make the All-Star game because his team is bad. This is a made up excuse. It usually works that the best players happen to come from the best teams but to my knowledge it's called the "All-Star" game, not the "All-Stars Who Also Play For Winning Ball Clubs Game". There is no way anyone can deny that Kevin Love is an All-Star. Some can say the Wolves are only a 10 win team and so how good can anyone on that team individually be? Well, to them I counter, the Wolves would be a 1 win team without him.
One final disclaimer, I do not in the slightest bit care about the All-Star game. It's not about that. Watching a bunch of divas laugh up and down the court while they take turns dunking holds zero interest for me. People rip the NFL's Pro-Bowl for being a pointless exhibition. Then what is the NBA All-Star game? There's an equal percentage chance I'll watch The Bachelor or Housewives of Madison County or that new sitcom about those two obese people who manage to love each other in spite of their wretched BMIs. It's not about that. It's about respect. The Wolves haven't deserved it a lot lately, but in the few instances they do, believe I will let it be known.
Kevin Love is #1 in the NBA in rebounding at 15.7 per game. That's 2.3 more per game than the next guy, Dwight Howard. He has 30 more offensive rebounds than the guy with the 2nd most offensive rebounds, Zach Randolph. He has 60 more defensive rebounds than the next closest guy, once again, Super Dwight.
Kevin Love is #1 in the NBA in player efficiency rating at 29.6. LeBron James is 2nd at 26.9. Google it if you want the real definition but basically player efficiency measures how bad ass you are and how few chances you need to prove you are a bad ass. Kind of like the new inmate who walks into prison and immediately punches the warden in the face and then shanks the first guard who steps to him. That guy would have a really high inmate efficiency rating.
Kevin Love is shooting 44% on 3 pointers. The only other forwards who are also in the realm of All-Star consideration and near that mark are Paul Pierce at 41% and Dirk Nowitzki and 39%. His 63 3-pointers made are 5th among all Power Forwards/Centers in the NBA.
Kevin Love is 4th amongst power forwards (3rd in the Western Conference) in points per game at 21.6, which leads to...
Kevin Love is #1 in the league in double-doubles at 41. Blake Griffin is next with 37. The Wolves have played 44 games, which means that 93% of the time the Wolves take the court Love is going to get a double-double. That's more than Dwight, LeBron or anyone else in the league can say.
Kevin Love is 7th amongst power forwards (5th in the Western Conference) in assists per game at 2.54. That number isn't Earth shattering but it shows he is at least in the conversation and by no means some sort of black hole who gets numbers simply by dominating the ball.
Kevin Love's 47% overall shooting percentage and 2.3 turnovers per game aren't especially noteworthy. They also aren't by any means a detriment or a source from which a detractor could draw criticism.
The truth is, I actually think Love will make the Western Conference All-Star team. Not out of blind fandom or luck but based on what you just read. These numbers are undeniable. When Al Jeff got overlooked in 2009 one could say his turnovers were too high or that he was a ballhog, but with Love there is nothing not too like.
***I was so gonna end that last sentence "nothing not to Love" but then I played through the whole scenario in my head of having to punch myself in the nuts for being such a wank and decided against it. Just thought you should know that.