Entering this season, no player had posted back-to-back 25-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist games since 2006-07.*
Kevin Love has already done it twice this year.
*Pau Gasol did it with the Memphis Grizzlies in April of that season.
Love had 26 points, 15 rebounds and five assists in a win over the 76ers on Wednesday night, giving him his second back-to-back 25-15-5 games of the season. He also had a fifth such game between.
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In fact, Love has all five of the NBA’s 25-15-5 games this season.
That puts him comfortably on pace to break Shaquille O’Neal’s modern record for 25-15-5 gams in a season, 12 in 2000-01. (Basketball-Reference’s relevant records date only 1985-86.)
The actual all-time record-holder is probably Wilt Chamberlain, who has twice averaged 25-15-5 for a season. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elgin Baylor also each have a 25-15-5 season.
But Love is filling the stat sheet in a way we haven’t seen in a long time. He’s an excellent scorer and rebounder with a passing touch rarely seen from someone with the size to dominate on the glass.
The statistic cutoffs are arbitrary, but they truly reflect a special skillset and consistency.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.
For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.
His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).
“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”
Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.
We’re going to miss Kobe.