A well-known commentator writes:
“Yes, right now Love has been more effective than Kevin Garnett was here, even in his prime. Love is averaging 25.0 points and 14.6 rebounds per game during his fourth professional season. Garnett averaged 20.8 and 10.4 at the same time in his career.”
Is Sid crazy, or is Love better than KG was in his prime? Cast your vote below.
6 responses to “The Best Power Forward in Timberwolves History”
KG was better. I think.
Love never ceases to amaze me, so maybe he’ll soon be averaging 40 & 25 and leading the Wolves to their fifth straight title.
I just think Garnett’s combination of being a tough offensive matchup and defensive stopper at multiple positions was crucial to the eight consecutive playoff appearances. When aging Cassell and aging Sprewell are good-enough mates to create a top-seed-in-the-West caliber team, you know your Number 1 is an all-time great.
Garnett’s last Wolves team (2007) won 32 games, which doesn’t sound like much. But consider this: He had 13 teammates, 2 of which were rookies (Randy Foye and Craig Smith). The other 11 are out of the NBA.
@Andy G: Concur. Sid doesn’t mention defense. Garnett was/is great at D; Love has his ups and downs (to put it politely). Love certainly can’t guard the range of players KG could. Otherwise, for having such different bodies, they actually have quite a few similar strengths: KG was an amazing rebounder in his prime (as Love is now), and both have nice face-up jumpers. Love’s obviously shooting the three like a madman this year, and he’s far better than KG ever was at drawing fouls and getting to the line. It sure would’ve been fun to see a young KG play with Rubio. He and Rondo were a nice pair during their championship run, but KG was just past his prime and Rondo was just coming into his.
This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read from Sid. KG in his prime was better, and it’s not even close. Where does Sid get off saying that Love is “more effective” than KG, even in Garnett’s prime, and then giving us KG’s statistics for his 4th year in the league? Does he think that was KG’s prime? You could definitely argue that Love is better this year than KG was in his 4th year in the league, but to say that Love right now is better (or “more effective”) than KG was in his prime is ludicrous.
Assuming KG’s prime was 2003-04, his MVP year, even a purely statistical comparison comes out in favor of KG. Their scoring and rebounding are pretty similar (25 and 14.6 for Love; 24.2 and 13.9 for KG), but Love is shooting 43% from the floor compared to Garnett’s 50% in 03-04. KG also gave you 5 assists and 2.2 blocks a game in his best season.
But KG’s impact transcends a straightforward statistical analysis. He was an otherworldly defensive player who truly made his entire team better. Even in 2003-04, when the Wolves 58 wins earned them the best record in the West and only a bum Sam-I-Am hamstring kept us out of the NBA Finals, the Wolves did not have a strong team surrounding Garnett. Other than an aging Sam and Spree (34 and 33 years old), who was the next best player on that roster (keeping in mind we only had Wally for 28 games)? Trenton Hassel? T-Hud? The Kandi Man? I’m a huge Love fan, and think he’s earned a max deal, but you stick Kevlar on that 03-04 Wolves roster and there’s no way he wins 58 games and carries the Wolves through the playoffs. While our current team is far from perfect, I think KG would have much preferred this year’s supporting cast to what he had to work with in 03-04. (Tolliver, J.J., D-Thrill, AR15 and Darko are, to my mind, significantly better than Hassell, The Mayor, Kandi Man, T-Hud, and Gary Trent).
I hope Sid misspoke, and meant to compare K-Love this year to KG in his 4th year in the league. Otherwise I guess his memory has gotten worse than we thought in his old age. #loyalty
Please tell us how you really feel.
Just kidding– that sums it up pretty well. To appreciate KG, you really need to look at what his teams did with lackluster talent at most positions. When he finally played with some stars in Boston, a title came immediately.
I’d like to see him come home to finish his career as a part-time center.
Thank you Brian! This is a ridiculous statement apparently by Sid. I wouldn’t concede the offense for Love. I’d give KG the intangibles even if that weighs little. And OVERWHELMINGLY give KG defense!
Andy G, KG was better “I think”. What were you thinking? I’m glad you came around.
My only question was like Brian’s: does Sid mean KG’s fourth season, or prime? I’d rather have KG either way, but it’s a closer question when each guy is put in his fourth season.
Garnett at best was an MVP during the peak years of Kobe, Shaq and Duncan–perhaps the 3 best players of the last 15 years. Love isn’t going to reach that level of dominance. Physical limitations do exist, at some point.