There is no doubt in my mind that Kevin Love is an excellent player, probably even the best power forward in the league right now. He has an excellent shooting touch, and his nose for the ball and the way he rebounds in bunches hasn’t been seen since Dennis Rodman. He is slowly becoming the stereotypical power forward of the new generation. He is not really physically dominant, but his fundamentals and his skills is what makes him a special player. The way he positions himself on rebounds and the way he boxes out his opponents is truly a joy to watch.
That said; can he be the number one guy on a championship team? The NBA has evolved so much over the years that it has become a very guard-oriented league. The last two power forwards to lead their team to a championship as the clear cut number 1 is Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan. Most years, perimeter oriented players dominate the landscape of the NBA Finals. You’ve seen Charles Barkley and Karl Malone go ring-less and you see Kevin Garnett win a ring as a second option for the Boston Celtics. Being a franchise player and winning a ring as a power forward is a very difficult thing to do.
Can Love be that guy though? Can he be the clear-cut best player on a championship team? The short answer is no. Kevin Love is a very intriguing player but he hasn’t proven he can win in the NBA. Obviously he is still very young, but the next few years will be dominated by Kevin Durant and LeBron James. So far in his young career, we haven’t seen anything about his game to know that he can elevate his play once he reaches the playoffs. Sure great stats are nice, but I just don’t think he can lead his team to a championship as the number one guy. He could probably pair up with the next generation of stars and win a championship that way. But if that happens, then he will “only” be a second-option.
Love is one of the up-and-coming players in the league today, but he is not the guy you want to build your team around. So far, even his great regular season numbers can’t elevate his team to playoff contention. As long as he doesn’t lead his team to the playoffs, then we have truly no way of knowing how he performs on the big stage. But for now though, all we can do is speculate on his true impact for his team.