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Weighing W’s and L’s vs numbers in All-Star votes
Rebounds _ 15.7 per game, nearly 2 1/2 better than the next closest NBA player.
Points _ 21.6, putting him on track to become the first player since Moses Malone in 1982-83 to average at least 20 points and 15 rebounds per game.
Three-point percentage _ 44.7, tied for seventh in the league.
But there is one number that threatens to prevent him from making his first All-Star team. It’s 10, which is how many victories the Timberwolves have this season.
“I feel like I’ve done the best I could to show I’m an All-Star type talent, but I know that wins come at a premium in this league and a lot of coaches are going to look at that,” Love said. “But hopefully, maybe, they can get past that this year and make an exception.”
Love isn’t alone in hoping coaches look past wins and make him a reserve for the All-Star game on Feb. 20 in Los Angeles.
Golden State guard Monta Ellis, Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Memphis forward Zach Randolph are all putting up huge numbers this season while playing for losing teams. The performances are making it tough on Western Conference coaches who vote for the reserves.
Ellis is averaging 25.8 points per game, fourth in the league. Griffin has been the breakout star of the first half with his ferocious dunks. Randolph is putting up a double-double nearly every night to help the improving Grizzlies (22-24) approach the .500 mark.
Their numbers are creating a debate among the NBA’s coaches. Is there room in the All-Star game for losers? Love, Griffin, Ellis and Randolph aren’t losers, but their teams have a combined record of 68-113.
Love’s Timberwolves (10-35) are tied for fewest wins in the West, Griffin’s Clippers (17-28) are still well under .500 despite a solid run of late and Ellis’s incredible scoring has done little to change the fortunes for the Warriors (19-26).
“I don’t think there’s any formula for it,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “I think that everything should be considered. I think it’s natural for a player on a team with a better record to probably get the attention first. But it does not preclude a player who has been outstanding on a team with a lesser record from being considered.
“I think it’s a subjective thing. It depends what people think, how much they respect and value what a specific player has done.”
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, while complimentary of Love’s progression, was a little less diplomatic.
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