Monday, December 31, 2007

Kevin Love - NBA Draft Prospects

Numbers: 17.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.4 bpg, 56% FG, 77% FT, 35% 3's

About Him: Of all the outstanding freshman this season, Kevin Love is probably the biggest question mark when it comes to being an NBA prospect. The things he does well, he does very well. He's an excellent low-post scorer. He gets a lot of his buckets because he is phenomenal at establishing position because he is so strong. He has a pretty good array of post moves. His best move is a righty jump hook which he hits pretty consistently, but he can also go left with it. His turn around jumper is improving, but in order for him to be able to make it against the bigger, more athletic pro defenders, he has to fade away very far and put a ton of arc on the shot. Love is also very good at using fakes in the post, and when he gets defenders in the air, he is big enough and strong enough to go through them and finish. Love has also shown an ability to perimeter jumpers when he is left open, with range beyond the college three. His passing ability, specifically on his outlet passes, has been well documented. He has great court vision and makes very good decisions with the ball. His rebounding ability will probably be his best skill in the pros because of his size and strength. He is superb at establishing position, especially on the offensive glass, and takes up a ton of space. Where Love will struggle is defensively. He struggles defending the pick-and-roll, he is not very mobile defending on the perimeter, and is much better at guarding posts that try to out-physical him as opposed to guys that can shoot over him. He is a very mediocre athlete, but he looked to be getting more explosive as he got in shape over the course of the season. He is a very good positional defender, especially on help side, although his lack of athleticism means he is more likely to take a charge than block a shot. He also has health concerns. He has had back problems this season and has continuing knee problems, and could still stand to lose 20 pounds.

Comparisons: Shorter Brad Miller, poor man's David West

Bottom Line: Most analysts are torn over Love. Some think he could be a career back up, some think he will be a role player, some think he could even be an all star. He will be able to score and rebound in the league, but his defense, injury issues, weight issues, and athleticism are legitimate concerns. He will probably drop to the end of the lottery.

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