After a 51 point game, Kevin Love followed it up Sunday with a 30 point 21 rebound game against the Denver Nuggets, and now the All-Star power forward is drawing comparisons to NBA legend Larry Bird for the way he has played over least couple seasons.
”We used to call him kind of a poor man’s Larry Bird,” Denver coach George Karl said. ”I think you can take ‘poor man’s’ off that comparison now. His ability to rebound is incredible and his offensive tools and skills are growing.”
The Associated Press called Love the new face of the Timberwolves franchise which it has been searching for since the departure of Kevin Garnett.
Now since entering the league in 2008 Love, in his short career, is having his stats and game play compared to Larry Bird.
Bird was a career .376 three-point shooter while Love is currently a .397 shooter from behind the three-point arc. Bird who was all-round good player with his rebounding, scoring, and passing, Love is being called a better rebounder at both the offensive and defensive ends.
Bird averaged 10 rebounds a game, currently Love averages 12 a game. Love’s outlet passing has also been compared to Hall Of Famer Wes Unsold, for which he gets his middle name Wesley, from.
In the 2010/2011 season, Love won the NBA Most Improved Player Award after increasing his points per game by 44 percent and his rebounds per game by 38 percent over his previous season. Love established career highs in rebounding, scoring, assists, double-doubles, field goal percentage, free throw shooting, 3-point shooting, and minutes played. He became the first player to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a season since Malone in the 1982–83 season.
Last season Love began the season recording 15 straight double-doubles, the first player to do so since Hakeem Olajuwon in the beginning of the 1992-1993 NBA season. Love just needs to start translating those stats into MVP’s and Championships the way Bird did.