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Kevin Love Could Join Exclusive 20-15 Club

Only eight players in NBA history have averaged at least 20 points and 15 rebounds per game in a season and all of them are in the Hall of Fame: Wilt Chamberlain (13), Bob Pettit (8), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4), Elgin Baylor (4), Walt Bellamy (4), Elvin Hayes (4), Moses Malone (2) and Bob McAdoo (1). If he can keep up his current pace, Kevin Love will be next on that list. Love is currently averaging 20.8 points per game and 15.5 rebounds per game — the highest average since Dennis Rodman’s 16.05 per game in 1996-97.

Love was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008, but was immediately traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for fellow 2008 draft pick O.J. Mayo. The Timberwolves definitely got the better end of this deal; Mayo’s first three years have produced a healthy 17.2 points per game, but that’s really it. He’s probably never going to be as famous for his play as he is for his one-year stint at USC.

Love, on the other hand, has seen his production rise incrementally each season — from 11 points and nine rebounds to 14 points and 11 rebounds to the historic pace he’s on this year. He’s got as many single-digit rebound games this season (5) as he does games with at least 20 boards. In what was probably his best game this season, on Nov. 12 against the Knicks, Love put up 31 points and brought down 31 rebounds — talk about glass cleaning.

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Blake Griffin Does it Again With Alley-Oop Against Timberwolves (Video)

Once again, Blake Griffin shows why he was the No. 1 pick a year ago and the front-runner for the NBA Rookie of the Year. In last night’s Clippers victory over the Timberwolves, Griffin scored 22 points — none more impressive than these two:

Griffin added 10 rebounds to record his sixth-straight double-double. This dunk was one of three high-flying slams on the night by Griffin — bringing his season total to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 highlight reel plays. A guy Griffin’s size — 6 feet 10 inches, 250 pounds — shouldn’t be able to  do what he’s able to do, but he does it. Let’s keep our finger crossed in hopes that he does in fact participate in the dunk contest.

Thanks to youtube user RedBullgakov for the video.

Magic Roster Makeover: Trade Lands Gilbert Arenas, Brings Back Hedo Turkoglu

The Orlando Magic were dominating the NBA to begin the season, and then December came.  Something has gone wrong for the Magic lately, and it has resulted in five losses over the last six games.  We’ve known for a while that the Magic were interested in acquiring Gilbert Arenas, but we didn’t know they were going to blow up their roster to make it happen.

Pro Basketball Talk called our attention to a lot of dealing the Magic did on Saturday.  First, Orlando sent Vince Carter, Mikael Pietrus, and Marcin Gortat to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, and Earl Clark.  When that deal was finished, the Magic then traded Rashard Lewis to the Washington Wizards to get their boy Gilbert Arenas.

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Dwyane Wade Thinks Knicks Only Wanted LeBron James, Not Him

It seems like forever ago that LeBron James was going through free agency and visiting with the Nets, Knicks, Bulls, Cavs, and Heat. All along it feels like a plan was agreed upon for the King to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, but they all still went on free agent visits. That includes Wade, who has been a lifelong Miami player.

Wade actually said on Friday ahead of the Heat-Knicks game in New York that he feels like the Knicks never wanted him in free agency. “I don’t think they ever really wanted me here, anyway” Wade said. If Wade was merely a supplemental player in New York’s mind then that was the Knicks’ loss. Either that, or maybe they felt Dwyane was only using them for an interview and leverage with the Heat so they didn’t give their full push.

Whatever the reason, we sure know it was a mistake by the Knicks. People, including our own Danny Lee, have ridiculed the Heat because of their struggles to start the year. I’ve maintained confidence in them and it seems to be rewarded; the Heat have won 11 in a row, 10 of which have been by a wide margin. Even though both star players’ numbers seem to be down, they appear to be finally meshing. New York’s loss certainly was Miami’s gain. Tell me the fans at the Garden Friday night don’t realize that.

J.R. Smith Posterizes Gary Neal with Insane Dunk (Video)

Usually when I think J.R. Smith, I think of nothing but three pointers. J.R. can get hot from beyond the arc, but he also throws up a lot of crazy shots that just make you want to shake your head. After seeing the highlight of his dunk last night against the Spurs, maybe Smith can make a case that his NBA 2K11 rating should be higher.  Check out this video of J.R. Smith posterizing Gary Neal, as pointed out by SI Hot Clicks.

No way you can’t respect that.  Rather than throwing it up like most people do with under a second left in the quarter, J.R. realized he was on national television and decided to take flight.  The result was one of the best dunks of 2010.

Amare Stoudemire 3-Pointer Should Have Counted for Knicks Against Celtics

I used to get into this debate on my nationally syndicated radio show all the time. When it comes to buzzer beaters, the clock and instant replay shouldn’t be used but rather the determination should be based on the eyeball test — if a guy is shooting at the buzzer and makes it, the shot should always count. Isn’t that what sports is all about? Isn’t it about making a shot at the buzzer, regardless of whether or not the release was .07 seconds after the clock supposedly expired? Plus, what if the operator started the clock too early, or … what if the clock ran too much time off on the previous possession? That’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night.

As Matt Moore pointed out, Paul Pierce’s game-winning shot for the Celtics to beat the Knicks went through the cylinder with 0.8 seconds left. The Knicks should have had that much time left for their final shot, or at least more than their 0.4 seconds. Therefore, Amare Stoudemire’s catch-and-shoot 3 to win it should have counted. Here’s proof of how much time was left when Pierce’s shot cleared the cylinder:

Stoudemire raised for the shot at the buzzer and released it a split second after the buzzer. It didn’t count, but it should have, and the Knicks should have escaped with a one-point win over the Celtics. Tell me this shouldn’t have counted …

Eyeball test my friends, eye ball test. Sometimes we get so technical we get away from the actual game and this is one of those times.

Nate Robinson Upended, Falls on His Head After Paul Pierce Game-Winner (Video)

For the past few days, analysts have been trying to force the concept of a rivalry between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.  The problem is there isn’t one.  Since the Celtics current Big Three joined forces, the Knicks have been horrible.  New York has looked great this season, but it will take more battles like Wednesday night’s for any type of rivalry to take shape.

Wednesday’s game was a battle from start to finish.  Amar’e Stoudemire and the Knicks needed a win to show they are for real, but they came up just short despite Stoudemire’s 39 points.  Paul Pierce hit the game winner with 0.04 seconds remaining, and Nate Robinson unfortunately mistook Pierce for Shrek.  Donkey can jump on Shrek’s back all he wants, but clearly he should think twice before doing it to Pierce again in the future.  Check out this video of Nate Robinson falling on his head over Paul Pierce, courtesy of YouTube user JDRance:

Nate’s lucky he wasn’t get seriously hurt after that.  Is it just me or did Pierce look like he tried to undercut him on purpose? Clearly Nasty Nate should have stuck to the one celebratory jump.  Either that or he should have found Glen Davis and partied with him.