Thursday, December 23, 2010

Love vs Griffin

Another night in the NBA, another highlight reel dunk for Blake Griffin. Blake has already established himself as a must-see NBA talent that produces insane dunks with his freak-athleticism. At 21 PPG and 12.5 RPG, Blake is the clear ROY favorite and a superstar in the making that may eventually lead the Clippers out of, well, wherever they have been for the last 30+ years.

As good as Blake has been, Kevin Love has been better statistically. Rewind to the week before Thanksgiving, Griffin went for 12 and 8 against the Pacers on 11/18, and Love went for 0 and 7 versus the Lakers on 11/19. Since those games, the Love/Griffin combo has produced a double-double in every game they have played, a total of 33 straight games. In 3 of Griffin's last 5 games, he has gone for 20+ and 17+.

Love's season, while not as highlight-filled, has produced some gaudy statistics. He currently averages 20.5 and 15.5 on the season, but that has risen with 23.6 and 16.5 averages in December. With his rebound totals continuing to rise, Love has a chance to have a rebounding season unlike any other in the past couple of decades.

Since Dennis Rodman's run of 7 rebounding titles from 91-98, only Ben Wallace in 02-03 has topped 15 rebounds per game. Dwight Howard, KG, and Deke all won rebounding titles, but never reached the 15 rpg number.

The biggest difference between Love currently averaging 15+ rpg and the Wallace/Rodman seasons, is that Love is also getting 20+ points per game as well. In the 8 seasons where the Wallace/Rodman duo put up 15+ rpg seasons, they never once topped 10 ppg.

The last player to top 20 ppg and 15 rpg in a season was Moses Malone in 82-83. If Love can top the 20/15 threshold in 2010/2011, he will join quite a group of players that have accomplished the feat in the last 40 years.

Moses Malone
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Artis Gilmore
Wilt Chamberlain
Elvin Hayes

Not bad company at all...and he is only 22 years old. Griffin is even younger at 21, and could certainly make this list at some point in his career.

I've been watching quite a bit of college hoops the last month and have a decent feel as to the top teams so far this year. The biggest rise/fall of any team so far has to be Tennessee. Beating top 10 level teams Nova and Pitt and then losing three in a row to Oakland/Charlotte/USC. No secret what they want to do, bang it inside with Harris/Williams and then open up their shooters to knock down 3's. The problem the last 3 games? 10-50 from downtown...

RSM Top 25 Hoops Poll

1. Duke
2. Ohio State
3. UConn
4. Kansas
5. Pittsburgh
6. Syracuse
7. Georgetown
8. Missouri
9. San Diego State
10. Villanova
11. Texas
12. Kentucky
13. Kansas State
14. Washington State
15. Memphis
16. Central Florida
17. Wisconsin
18. Purdue
19. Baylor
20. Illinois
21. BYU
22. Texas A&M
23. Temple
24. Louisville
25. Michigan State

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