The Lakers and Timberwolves each feature one of the best big men in the NBA, and arguably the best player at each of their positions. But neither of the USA basketball teammates will see the court Friday night due to their respective injuries. A re-aggravated torn labrum in his shoulder for Howard, and a re-injured broken finger for Kevin Love to be specific.
Given the amount of struggles in LA with the preseason presumed best team in the league we’ve all been looking for answers and escape cords to pull.
If you were the Lakers GM, given what you know now in the middle of the season who would you choose: Dwight Howard or Kevin Love?
Now you can’t have Kevin Love. He’s not exactly cheap enough for the players exemption just granted the Lakers by the NBA for the injured Jordan Hill. Nor can you dump Mike D’Antoni. Were stuck with him for better or imminently worse (for now). So that could make this hypothetical an easier decision Mr. or Mrs. GM.
Both players are prolific rebounders. Dwight is leading the league in boards with 11.9 per game, and Love could get 20 and 10 boards in a suit from the end of the bunch. K Love had the first 30-30 game in 28 years rebounds in a game 2 years ago.
While Howard was in Orlando he was the focal point on offense. He got his points with the space all the 3 point weapons afforded him. But he has struggled in a Lakers uniform on the offensive end. He hasn’t been efficient when he has rarely got the ball. Kevin Love is a scorer both inside and out though. He finds ways to score around the rim, and steps out and shoots a mean 3 ball. He had excelled on some bad teams, much like Howard.
Now both players have had their injury concerns. Until last year Dwight had never missed considerable time. But with his back problems and burdensome shoulder issue this year, there are a lot of questions about the franchise player’s status. Kevin Love has missed considerable time the last few years. That’s a pick ‘em for who if either will stay healthier.
It’s not that Dwight won’t fit, it’s that he hasn’t fit. Given his current trajectory towards injury, and Kevin Love’s superior scoring I’d choose Love. Kevin Love can do exactly what Mike D’Antoni wished Pau could do–spread the floor. He is also excellent in the pick and roll.
Even though Love has been often injured he is still 24 years old. Dwight is the youngest piece the Lakers have, but he’s 27. By no means is that old, but given the choice for the 24 year old, i’d take it.
And the last tipping point is Love played in LA. He belongs here. Howard wanted to be in a big time market but has been harmed from the rays of the bright media spotlight. He hasn’t fit. It’s not that he won’t. He just hasn’t. The media swoon over Kevin Love, and he’s become an LA guy playing for UCLA and the Jose Cuervo pro beach volleyball series during the lockout.
The lakers can’t have Kevin Love. Nor can we have Phil Jackson. But given the information midway through yhis tumultuous season, and the choice between the 2 players, I’ll draft Love.
Who would you want Hubsters? Howard or Love?