Dwight Howard could box out Kevin Love for rebound crown

Categories: Sports
K Love.jpg
Image courtesy of Keith Allison
Love is having his lowest rebound month of the season.

As the Timberwolves' season winds down to the last 11 games, it's possible that their rare chunk of gold in a campaign replete with coal may be in jeopardy.

No, Kevin Love's superb record streak of 53 consecutive double-doubles (from 11/22/10 to 3/13/11) isn't receiving any challenge. But his grasp on an NBA rebounding title might be.

Entering Thursday, Love continued to lead the league in both total boards (1,096) and rebounds per game (15.4). However, his boards totals have been trending downward as the season creeps to a close, and adding to the concern is a pre-existing groin injury he further suffered during the Wolves' woeful loss to Sacramento last Sunday. Love had yet to miss a game this season, but he departed that debacle in the first half and did not return. It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that he would not travel with the team on their two-game road trip against Dallas on Thursday and Oklahoma City on Friday.​

While Love's status for the trip had been a matter of query, there is no question that Orlando's Dwight Howard has been making a late-season push at Love's claim on a league board crown.

At a still-stellar 14.9 rebs per game in 11 March contests, Love continues to board at an elite level, although that mark does represent his lowest monthly average of the season. But Howard--who has led the NBA in total rebounding each of the last five seasons--is playing some major catch-up, clipping at a March rate of nearly 17 rebounds a game. For the season, Howard averaged 14.3 boards per contest entering the Magic's Wednesday eve game in New York. With 11 games to play in their own right prior to their set versus the Knicks, Orlando owned a firm hold on the No. 4 seed in the East.

In his last 10 games played, Howard grabbed 168 total rebounds to Love's 153; that mark includes Love's abbreviated outing against the Kings on Sunday. Of those 10, Howard has corralled 15 or more rebs in nine games. And Love? He's done so "just" five times in his past 10, although the Wolves All-Star hasn't reached said mark in five straight.

To handicap this baby down the stretch, let us assume that Howard (who has missed just three games this year) plays in his team's final 11 regular season contests and that Love returns vs. the Celtics on Sunday night and plays the Wolves' final nine games. Of Howard's final 11 opponents (which include both New York and Charlotte twice), he'll face four teams in

Dwight Howard.jpg
Image courtesy of Keith Allison
the league's top half of rebounding, along with five individual players that chart in the league's top 20 in boards (including the Knicks' Amare Stoudemire twice). Love gets five of the NBA's top half of rebounding teams and four of the top 20 individual rebounders as opponents to close out the year.

To exercise some basic math: Should Howard average 18 rebounds a game over his last 11, he would conclude the campaign with 79 games played and 1,167 rebs at an average of 14.77 per game. For Love's final nine, if he were to go as "low" as nine boards per game, he'd finish the year with 80 games played and 1,177 rebounds at an average of 14.71 per game.

For the season, Kevin Love is pacing for 1,232 total rebounds, which would serve as the NBA's largest total since Dennis Rodman grabbed 1,367 for the Spurs back in 1993-94. Even if he gets healthy fast, Love won't usurp Rodman, nor do I believe he'll crack the 1,200 mark for the year.

But despite his own stellar season, a sensational finish, and shoulders cut like diamonds, Dwight Howard doesn't have another 200 rebounds in him.

Kevin Love won't have 25 wins (or maybe even 20) to reflect upon at the end of the season. But he'll have an NBA rebounding title to place on the mantle beside that worthy All-Star selection.


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12 comments
Malone
Malone

Cmon K Love - give this state something to cheer about!

jim
jim

juddie i admire persistence, that is the most difficult tasks in in life are about working the solution, not finding it on a psychologists couch....reduced it is simply "95% perspiration, 5% inspiration...so i genuinely admire your efforts to find anything of interest to write about the wolves...if the anyone in the misguided woofs organization worked half as hard as you, they would be a 40-50 victory team...keep up the good work, i enjoy your talents, but for your own health find a new topic...this mess is undeserving from top to bottom of our efforts to generate interest in this awful mess...the braintrust, if there is one, should hire you

Common Sense
Common Sense

Trade bait, trade bait, duh, duh , duh, duh duhFI-RE RAMBIS duh, duh , duh, duh duh

Move the team, duh, duh , duh, duh duhImplode the Target Center, duh, duh , duh, duh duh

Put in a parking lot, duh, duh , duh, duh duhIt will make more money, duh, duh , duh, duh duh

Taylor can get bent, duh, duh , duh, duh duhHe uses the team as a tax write off, duh, duh , duh, duh duh

RT Rybek is a fool, duh, duh , duh, duh duhHe wants 160 million, duh, duh , duh, duh duhSTU-PID STU-PID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

duke
duke

sad that the only things that you can think to write about with the woeful team is a math calculation. a few more love's and we might get to 20 wins.

Judd
Judd

A few UPDATED notes on Howard: he went for 11 rebounds (and 33 points) in the Magic's win over New York last night, meaning dude still has a long ways to go. And per the mention of Love's double-double streak not receiving any "challenge," I suppose it's worthy of note that Howard now has a D.D. streak of his own. Last night's effort put him at 29 consecutive.

myles
myles

We do not know how many Love would get his final games, if he played. His RPG title seems fairly safe, his total rebounds is in jeopardy.

Let's hope he is the next Garnett to rebuild next season -- at least one catalyst will be needed if improvment is to be made.

Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris

This team needs more than a rebounding title...

Paul
Paul

good articleFire Rambis....please

Judd
Judd

Just 10 games left, Jim (and it now sounds like Love may potentially miss more than the 2 games). Baseball lovers get paid off for the winter from hell with a return to Twins baseball on the 1st.

Judd
Judd

Chanting this at the games? I've heard one rumor (unconfirmed) that some fellas weren't allowed in Target Center for donning anti-Rambis/Kahn home-made T-shirts.

Judd
Judd

Two very important notes you make: Yes, there could prove a distinction between the RPG and the Total Rebounds should Love remain out past Friday. Whic serves as an apt segue to . . .

Sunday night. Thes Celtics are here, with KG, who was the last Wolf to lead the NBA in Rebs. (12.83 in 2006-07).

Judd
Judd

I'll then assume that the Tuesday article herein did little to sway your impressions of Rambis. Any suggestions for a successor?

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