Kevin Love

Quote of the Day: Derrick Favors not Kevin Love’s biggest fan

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“(Kevin Love is) just like any other stretch 4 in the league…probably a better rebounder but pretty much like every other stretch 4.”

—Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, talking about Kevin Love with Timberwolves radio play-by-play guy Alan Horton

If you want to debate whether Love is really a guy you can build a franchise around, that can be up for discussion. And Love is having a tough stretch coming back from his broken hand — last season he was a valuable in part because he could be a stretch four and hit better than 37 percent of his 5.1 threes a game. But this season he is still gunning from out there despite hitting just 23.3 percent, and that has dragged his shooting down.

But Love is much more than a stretch four. You can ask him or you can ask his gold medal from the London Olympics. First “probably a better rebounder” sells short how good Love is on the offensive glass. What’s more is he is dangerous in the post because he has fantastic footwork (which allows him to get off shots against more athletic defenders) and he is a gifted passer. He is good setting picks out high because he can roll to the hoop or pop out, depending on what the defense does. And we could go on, but I think even his critics would admit that.

All of which is to say, I think you’re selling Love short here, Derrick. And it could come back to bite you when your teams play Wednesday night.

Dwight Howard commits ridiculously sloppy inbound violation (video)

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An embarrassing lack of focus by the Rockets? I can hardly believe it.

Late in a game against a team Houston is battling for playoff position, Dwight Howard was just careless, stepping on the baseline as he inbounded the ball. It’s a needless goof, and he’ll get plenty of deserved criticism for it.

But don’t overlook Patrick Beverley‘s frustration foul on Damian Lillard before the ensuing inbound. That was nearly as foolish and even more costly.

The sequence sparked a 7-0 run for the Trail Blazers, who seized control of the game en route to a 116-103 win.

DeAndre Jordan dunks on Marcus Smart before Smart knows what’s happening (video)

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Marcus Smart went to tag DeAndre Jordan on the pick-and-roll, and Jordan took off from so far from the basket, he was dunking on Smart before the Celtics guard could do a thing.

Chris Paul finds brilliant counter to hack-a-DeAndre Jordan (video)

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I originally favored allowing Hack-a-Shaq as the NBA currently does. I found the strategy fascinated – why and when teams would use it and how their opponents would counter.

But it just became too common. Far too many games featured a parade of trips to the line, a boring stretch that made games too long. I thought the intrigue had run its course.

Then, Chris Paul pulled this move last night.

The Clippers guard saw Jonas Jerebko charging toward DeAndre Jordan to commit an intentional foul, so Paul stepped in front of an unsuspecting Jerebko and took the foul himself. That’s sent a good free-throw shooter to the line instead of the dismal Jordan.

Just an awesome heady play by Paul.