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thunderbird1245
05-15-2008, 02:24 PM
I'm going to start a few threads from here until the draft about some of the possible players who may be available when we select. I won't try and analyze every player, because there are several of them I have not watched enough to form an intelligent opinion about. One of which I have watched and studied however is Kevin Love, from UCLA.

Love is the topic of my first draft posting because, in many ways he is a difficult player to figure out. Like many real experts in the league, and like many of you have, I have went back and forth watching him and studying his strengths and weaknesses, and my opinion has ranged from him being a very good pro to being out of the league in 3 years. Because we are slotted perfectly to get Love at #11, and because some mock drafts have him being our actual pick, I decided to rewatch some of his college games I had taped this year.

Kevin Love, I have decided, is going to be a really really good basketball player at the NBA level. I think he will play on really good teams in his career, and he will be a main reason why they are good, because he does so many intangible things to help a team win throughout a game. Offensively, I rate him as an All Star level player, although defensively he is only average and will struggle in certain matchups.

Offensively though, he will be an immediate factor in key areas for us if he indeed ends up a Pacer:

1. He ends being our best passer on the team by far. Love makes the outlet pass on the fast break better than any big man I have seen play since maybe Bill Walton. He has strong hands, great vision, great timing, and a very good awareness of where everyone is on the floor. For a team that wants to play uptempo, Love is a great asset due to his defensive rebounding and outlet abilities.

2. Love is a great screener. Watching him on tape, he gets really good screen angles on people (A major Pacer weakness), and really hits people solidly. He gets low and wide most of the time, helping cutters like Westbrook and Collison and Shipp get open for shots/drives. By being a "big" screener, he helps everyone on the floor be a better offensive player....passers have more room to make passes, cutters have more space to clear defenders, and shooters have an extra second to get their shots off.

3. Love makes contested jumpers. What I mean by this is that while Love doesnt have driving ability, he can make tough jump shots with defenders on him closely. This is a difficult skill many cannot do. This makes him very hard and frustrating to guard. In the NBA, he will excel at making the "pick and pop" jump shot after a ball/screen, will excel at making the step back jumper, and will still be able to score inside on putbacks, and posting up smaller guys. I also think eventually Love will develop a 3 point game, much like Mehmet Okur for Utah.

4. In studying his strengths, I think it is very possible that Kevin Love was put on earth to play alongside a big man like Jermaine O'Neal. Love will compliment JO much like Brad Miller did once upon a time. I am not a proponent of trading O'Neal this summer like so many of you, and because of that a pick of Love looks better to me than it will most of you. If the Pacers draft Love but yet trade O'Neal, they will need to try to acquire a player like a Dale Davis or Rick Mahorn type.


In fact, in mentioning the old veteran Rick Mahorn, Love i think reminds me alot of.......yes, Bill Laimbeer. Laimbeer was the player I hated more than anyone growing up, but looking back now I see what a key member to championship teams he was. He made big shots, made big plays, and was a key leader on the floor. He played hard, took no prisoners, and was the heart and soul of a tough minded, hard as nails basketball team. Like Love, Laimbeer was limited and needed certain types of players around him, but still was an extremely good player.......a player I call a "winning factor".

Players I consider Love to be somewhat similar to in the league now are Nenad Kristic of the Nets and Mehmet Okur of the Jazz. I think Love ends up being better than both of these guys, and ends up being a slightly smaller and better version of Brad Miller. As Pacer fans, we'd be happy with that at pick #11, wouldn't we?

Now, if I were running the Pacers, I'd look to try and add another late first round pick and add another complimentary piece to the puzzle...but that is another topic for another day.

I'll have thoughts on some other players as we get closer to the draft. As far as Kevin Love goes, consider me a big fan.

As always, this is just my opinion.

Tbird

Speed
05-15-2008, 02:29 PM
Thank you, the kid confounds me.

count55
05-15-2008, 02:50 PM
Though I think I'd prefer to go for an Augustin or Westbrook, I've got Love #3 (at the #11 pick) on my list for basically the reasons Tbird is listing.

I consider him one of the lowest risk picks in the draft. I think it's likely that he slot somewhere between solid and pretty good...an NBA starter for a long time who won't get a lot of accolades, but will help his team a lot.

I haven't really vacillated on him a great deal. I consider him to be an unexciting, but good pick. While we may hope for (or later, long for) someone better, more special, later, I really think that the chances of him completely busting are pretty slim. (Well, as slim as these things get.)

Kstat
05-15-2008, 02:50 PM
I like the Laimbeer comparison and agree mostly. I don't know if he has the size of Laimbeer to play center in the NBA, though.

IMO, the most important factor in Love's NBA future isn't his passing, or his pick setting, or even his outside shooting. Those are all very nice, but ultimately window dressing.

How good is he with his off hand?

That's what has taken David West and Carlos Boozer from mediocre NBA prospects to all-stars.

If Love shows an ability to post with either hand, I'd take him #11 without question.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 02:50 PM
Good to have your opinion Tbird!


I like the Laimbeer comparison and agree mostly. I don't know if he has the size of Laimbeer to play center in the NBA, though.

I seem to remember Laimbeer being 6'11?, and Love is 6'10, so what do you mean? If anything centers are smaller today than they were when Laimbeer played.

tdubb03
05-15-2008, 02:56 PM
My only gripe with Love is that he looks uncannily like Tony Soprano's kid. No more thugs!

Kstat
05-15-2008, 03:11 PM
Good to have your opinion Tbird!



I seem to remember Laimbeer being 6'11?, and Love is 6'10, so what do you mean? If anything centers are smaller today than they were when Laimbeer played.

Laimbeer was 7 feet.

d_c
05-15-2008, 03:32 PM
Good to have your opinion Tbird!



I seem to remember Laimbeer being 6'11?, and Love is 6'10, so what do you mean? If anything centers are smaller today than they were when Laimbeer played.

I don't remember Laimbeer's exact height, but it was at least 6'11" w/o shoes. He was a big guy.

With Love, you're looking at somewhere between 6'8"-6'9" w/o shoes. His stock goes up if he measure over 6'9" w/o shoes.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 03:42 PM
Laimbeer was 7 feet.

My memory was right, 6'11. That's also what NBA.com says he was.

Speed
05-15-2008, 03:44 PM
My memory was right, 6'11. That's also what NBA.com says he was.

That's what I remember him always listed at too.

Kstat
05-15-2008, 03:44 PM
My memory was right, 6'11. That's also what NBA.com says he was.

If Laimbeer is only an inch taller than Kevin Love, then I'm only an inch shorter than Reggie Miller. There is no freaking way they are close to the same size.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 03:55 PM
I don't know if he has the size of Laimbeer to play center in the NBA, though.


There is no freaking way they are close to the same size.

Way to contradict yourself.

Kstat
05-15-2008, 04:05 PM
I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. Feel free to point out the contradiction.

owl
05-15-2008, 04:22 PM
If Laimbeer is only an inch taller than Kevin Love, then I'm only an inch shorter than Reggie Miller. There is no freaking way they are close to the same size.


It is one of those optical illusions things. Because Love is wide he does not look as tall.

Kstat
05-15-2008, 04:23 PM
It is one of those optical illusions things. Because Love is wide he does not look as tall.

If he was as tall as he is wide, he'd be shaquille O'Neal.

owl
05-15-2008, 04:23 PM
I would not mind the Pacers moving up a little to make sure they get him if they think
he is worth a higher pick.

slyder
05-15-2008, 04:32 PM
other than watching the great celtics teams in the 60's,
i ignored the NBA till the detroit pistons put together that
great team. i LOVED that team and LOVED bill laimbeer!!! (sp?)

i know a lot of fans on opposing teams hated him, but if you were
a pistons fan he was great - i loved his hard-nosed play and he was
a lot of fun to watch as he contested the officials. great scowl! zero
arc on his jump shot, which somehow went in.

i would LOVE to have a guy on the pacers like that!

but still - we need a PG more than that right now. if we opt
for a big, that means we HAVE to acquire a PG somehow.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 04:34 PM
I have no idea what that was supposed to mean. Feel free to point out the contradiction.

con·tra·dic·tion (k¼n”tr…-d¹k“sh…n) n. Something that contains contradictory elements.

You said, "I don't know if he has the size of Laimbeer." Then you contradicted yourself by saying, "There is no freaking way they are close to the same size."

count55
05-15-2008, 04:41 PM
con·tra·dic·tion (k¼n”tr…-d¹k“sh…n) n. Something that contains contradictory elements.

You said, "I don't know if he has the size of Laimbeer." Then you contradicted yourself by saying, "There is no freaking way they are close to the same size."

I don't really see that as contradiction. I would think if he'd said first "He seems to be about the same size as Laimbeer", then he'd said "There is no freaking way...", then he'd be contradicting himself.

Now, I don't particularly agree with his point, and it's difficult to judge the two comparatively because I've never seen them together, but I think he's actually restating the same position, considerably more forcefully.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 04:49 PM
I don't really see that as contradiction. I would think if he'd said first "He seems to be about the same size as Laimbeer", then he'd said "There is no freaking way...", then he'd be contradicting himself.

It's a contradiction to say you don't know something and then turn around and be emphatic the other way. Either you don't know or you do.

It's a contradiction to say both.

spreedom
05-15-2008, 05:15 PM
It's a contradiction to say you don't know something and then turn around and be emphatic the other way. Either you don't know or you do.

It's a contradiction to say both.

"I don't know that he has the size of Laimbeer" is a gentle way of saying "He doesn't have the size of Laimbeer." It's not like he doesn't have any idea how big either of them are...

Major Cold
05-15-2008, 05:22 PM
MAybe huis intention was the same but you interpreted it too literally.

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 05:46 PM
"I don't know that he has the size of Laimbeer" is a gentle way of saying "He doesn't have the size of Laimbeer." It's not like he doesn't have any idea how big either of them are...

I know he knows how big each is listed, that's why I asked him about it!!!!! Laimbeer played at 260, Love has been listed at 275. Laimbeer was listed at 6'11, Love at 6'10. I wanted to know exactly what he meant because if you go by height Lam is bigger, if you go by actually size, Love is bigger.

He never actually answered that question he just came back and said Laimbeer was 7'0.

Ah to heck with it, it's not worth my time!

Swingman
05-15-2008, 05:46 PM
Is 2 inches in height really worth getting all bent out of shape about?

If he's good, then he can overcome being 2 inches shorter than Laimbeer

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 05:50 PM
MAybe huis intention was the same but you interpreted it too literally.

Of course I did. I interpreted the way he said it.

CableKC
05-15-2008, 05:58 PM
Good post ( as always ) TBird.

You mention his obvious strengths.....and it's obvious that he will work out in our offense.....but what about his weaknesses?

How would he fit in our defense?

Seth has mentioned that he appears to have the Basketball IQ ( unfortunately, what seems to be a requirement for our Team defense that we run ) to figure out how and where to be on the defensive end.

Talking about his size...will it be a concern to defend the opposing Big Men in the East?

Also.....you mention that he would fit in well with a Player like JONeal.....but assuming that JONeal is traded and we don't get a player to fill whatever shoes he left behind.....would he be a good fit with players like Murphy and Foster?

Rajah Brown
05-15-2008, 07:00 PM
Very, very good post T-Bird. Having watched Love about a dozen times
this past season, I concur on all points. My biggest concern with Love
is something you didn't touch on at all. His health and durability.

He had some knee issues at various times in HS and had back issues
on and off at UCLA. I'm sure some of that is just being a big kid trying
to grow into his body, etc. But still, the Pacers will need to be very,
very thorough prior to pulling the trigger on him.

If Bird and crew are convinced that's not a problem, I'd be happy to
see him in Pacer, blue and gold next year (and I agree that he and
J.O. would be a terrific tandem).

thunderbird1245
05-15-2008, 07:11 PM
Good post ( as always ) TBird.

You mention his obvious strengths.....and it's obvious that he will work out in our offense.....but what about his weaknesses?

How would he fit in our defense?

Seth has mentioned that he appears to have the Basketball IQ ( unfortunately, what seems to be a requirement for our Team defense that we run ) to figure out how and where to be on the defensive end.

Talking about his size...will it be a concern to defend the opposing Big Men in the East?

Also.....you mention that he would fit in well with a Player like JONeal.....but assuming that JONeal is traded and we don't get a player to fill whatever shoes he left behind.....would he be a good fit with players like Murphy and Foster?

Lots of good questions here.

I do like his basketball IQ, and generally speaking I think the kids who play for Coach Howland at UCLA are very well taught fundamentally, especially defensively. He is one of the games best teachers on the defensive end, in my opinion.

Now, could he guard the leagues elite big guys without needing help in the form of a doubleteam? He probably could some of the time, but as a general rule no he couldn't. You would need to pair him with another bigger defender inside, preferably someone with more length and height that Love has. Love does have good feet and intellect, and he has the strength defensively to hold his position inside without getting pushed off the spot. I think he will need to lose about 15 pounds, but once he does that I think Love will also have the footwork and quickness to be able to step out and hedge the pick and roll anyway we would want him to.

The ideal 3/4 man rotation for the Pacers inside would be Jermaine O'Neal (or someone with his skill set), Kevin Love, a bigger post guy (like Roy Hibbert or someone we don't currently have), and Jeff Foster possibly.

If you had that, you'd have a group of 4 guys with distinct different strengths and skill sets, much like Detroit did in the eighties with Laimbeer, Salley, Mahorn, and Edwards......just to keep my original analogy alive.

I don't think Love and Diogu, or Love and Murphy are combinations that compliment each other well. If you are the Pacers and you do pick Love at #11, you need to be aware that a corresponding move should be made to somehow, by some miracle, trade Murphy and his albatross contract. Love makes him even more expendable than he already is, in my view.

owl
05-15-2008, 10:18 PM
If Love is chosen he should be looked at as an additional building block that can make the
Pacers better. I would like to see the Pacers pick up a late 1st rounder and something in the second round. Love I believe would contribute something his first year. With Murphy around
he would not have to log heavy minutes and would be a natural to spell Murphy or start for
him if needed due to injury.

Doug
05-15-2008, 10:39 PM
How would he fit in our defense?

Quick thought on that: I don't think our defense is set in stone. If we pick up someone who can stop dribble penetration out front, then I think some of the more "gimmicky" (as some have called it) schemes will go away.

idioteque
05-15-2008, 10:55 PM
If T-Bird is this comfortable with Love, then I'll be happy if we draft him.

A better version of Brad Miller with pick 11? Sign me up.

Anthem
05-15-2008, 11:01 PM
A cheaper version of Brad Miller with pick 11? Sign me up.
Fixed.

Pacersfan46
05-15-2008, 11:38 PM
Of course I did. I interpreted the way he said it.

Yes, but 'the way he said it' isn't anything close to what was meant in the course of the conversation.

By saying he didn't know if he 'had the size', he was saying that he didn't know if his size would translate well to the NBA's center position. That was what he was saying he didn't know. He was not saying that he didn't know anything about either players size.

Therefore, there was no contradiction.

Now, how big the difference is, is still up for debate and I'm not sure I agree with him on that.

-- Steve --

Will Galen
05-15-2008, 11:46 PM
Yes, but 'the way he said it' isn't anything close to what was meant in the course of the conversation.

By saying he didn't know if he 'had the size', he was saying that he didn't know if his size would translate well to the NBA's center position. That was what he was saying he didn't know. He was not saying that he didn't know anything about either players size.

Therefore, there was no contradiction.

-- Steve --

It doesn't matter, but go ahead your not hurting the horse.

d_c
05-16-2008, 12:22 AM
If T-Bird is this comfortable with Love, then I'll be happy if we draft him.


Hell, I'd pay to see the Pacers draft him just to see Kofi's reaction. That's if he ever wanted to show himself on this board again and also assuming he didn't jump off a bridge.

pwee31
05-16-2008, 12:32 AM
This forum is a good reason why emoticons come in handy

RamBo_Lamar
05-16-2008, 12:39 AM
I see a psychological factor involved with getting a guy named "Love", since
the Pacers already need all the love they can get.

If he were to come here and turn out to be a good player, the PR department
could spin "Love" into all kinds of fun and interesting ads.

avoidingtheclowns
05-16-2008, 12:58 AM
Hell, I'd pay to see the Pacers draft him just to see Kofi's reaction. That's if he ever wanted to show himself on this board again and also assuming he didn't jump off a bridge.

somewhere, far far away, he is scraping together enough pennies for a "cavaliers and/or celtics for life" tattoo

dohman
05-16-2008, 01:46 AM
Didn't I hear somewhere that Stanko's brother is in the draft this year? j/k

Does anyone know how our prospect is doing anyways?

owl
05-16-2008, 07:07 AM
Lets see, at number 11 from UCLA....Reggie Mi...uhh....Kevin Love!!!

If that pick worked out half as well at the last one I would say you would have a pretty solid pick.

Jonathan
05-16-2008, 09:17 AM
Love?
I question his lateral quickness on Defense. He is a very solid passer, but is his athletism on the level on NBA Talent?

Naptown_Seth
05-16-2008, 10:17 AM
I totally agree with TBird and have said some of these same things in the NCAA thread even. Seems like we came at it separately and ended up in roughly the same place. I was really interested to see his view, especially since he took the time to review several games.

Love's game is just loaded with so many quality fundamentals, NBA caliber fundamentals mind you, that it seems really unlikely that he won't contribute.

Where TBird points out his contested shot making, that's in line with my McHale comparison. McHale's thing was duck unders, spins, upfakes, stepbacks and a bunch of other YMCA crap that still gets you the same points a silky jumper does. That's also Love's inside offense. Add to that a decently ranged jumper too and you have a guy that can score without being as good as a go-to guy.

On those screens as well as on the defensive block Love shows outstanding discipline with his arms/hands. He rarely reaches or steps out to expand his screen, thus getting a foul called.

Similar on the defensive block he simply does not chase after blocks and rarely bites on shot fakes. This means no highlight blocks and very little intimidation factor, but it also means that he will force players to make their own points rather than getting bailed out. It was extremely effective even against players like Lopez and Jordan.

So he doesn't dominate, except in the passing game where he appears so far to be an all-time great, but he is quietly effective. He is similar to, but not of the same size and skill of, Tim Duncan. Boring, but the W still goes on the board.



How good is he with his off hand?
He's not a go-to post scorer really, so it doesn't matter IMO. He does have slop scoring so I'm sure he can work the ball into the net with either hand, but this isn't Arthur showing he's got hooks and layups going either direction in the block. I also agree with the Laimbeer thing in general size for the position and see Love as a complimentary PF type to a low-post scoring PF/C. UCLA saw it that way too and you rarely saw Love fed like the main guy the way you saw with Beasley, for example. UCLA was a shared threat attack, at least when Collison decided he was okay with giving up the ball. ;)


My biggest concern with Love
is something you didn't touch on at all. His health and durability.
I don't think he crashes out early ala Haskin, but this is on the radar at least in a Foster sense. Legit concern I think, but then maybe he's just a guy like Jeff or Rik that is always dealing off and on with some pain, without actually hitting an early ending point or being overly limited in his play.


BTW, I'm of the opinion that Love ain't making it to 11 anyway. :(

Naptown_Seth
05-16-2008, 10:33 AM
I don't think Love and Diogu, or Love and Murphy are combinations that compliment each other well. If you are the Pacers and you do pick Love at #11, you need to be aware that a corresponding move should be made to somehow, by some miracle, trade Murphy and his albatross contract. Love makes him even more expendable than he already is, in my view.
100% agree. Just as if you are grabbing Westbrook I think you must look to move Dunleavy to clear out the SG spot and reduce costs. 2 for 1 or 1+pick type of deal.

And if they hit the lottery and take Rose they darn sure better be moving Tins (as if they aren't already). I think a lot of current Pacers should have an eye on this draft.

Speed
05-16-2008, 10:57 AM
100% agree. Just as if you are grabbing Westbrook I think you must look to move Dunleavy to clear out the SG spot and reduce costs. 2 for 1 or 1+pick type of deal.

And if they hit the lottery and take Rose they darn sure better be moving Tins (as if they aren't already). I think a lot of current Pacers should have an eye on this draft.


Do you think then that Westbrook isn't the PG you're looking for, but a SG?

Interesting, I like if you then look to get back in the draft by moving Dunleavy and/or possibly picking up a PG or getting a young PG in return (Lowry, Jarret Jack).

It's speculation, but it would change the face of the team to have two defensive minded/young backcourt players.

Major Cold
05-16-2008, 11:43 AM
I highly doubt we would see these changes this summer anyway. Keep in mind that they are rookies and have to earn a spot in the rotation before we trade off our starters.

beast23
05-16-2008, 12:32 PM
Do you think then that Westbrook isn't the PG you're looking for, but a SG?

Interesting, I like if you then look to get back in the draft by moving Dunleavy and/or possibly picking up a PG or getting a young PG in return (Lowry, Jarret Jack).

It's speculation, but it would change the face of the team to have two defensive minded/young backcourt players.

I definitely go for having two defensively-abled players in the backcourt. In my opinion, our inablity to contain opposing guards is the root of our evils on the defensive end.

If we become able to stop penetration and some of the penetrating passes, then a lot of our other defensive weaknesses will be either cured or at least minimized.

OakMoses
05-16-2008, 01:01 PM
Do you think then that Westbrook isn't the PG you're looking for, but a SG?

Interesting, I like if you then look to get back in the draft by moving Dunleavy and/or possibly picking up a PG or getting a young PG in return (Lowry, Jarret Jack).

It's speculation, but it would change the face of the team to have two defensive minded/young backcourt players.

I can answer this one for Seth. No, he does not view Westbrook as a possible PG in the NBA. Read the draft thread if you want more info.

BlueNGold
05-17-2008, 10:41 PM
Love is probably a couple inches shorter than Laimbeer, but he will have no problem transitioning to the NBA. His position is PF and will typically not face a 7 footer. I suppose he would have major issues guarding Garnett, but I doubt he would get the assignment anyway. He does have good length which should diminish issues he has with most bigger PF's. Nah, I think he'll be fine and generally compensate with much better fundamentals.

In any event, there are several bangers in the league that are not particularly tall or athletic including Boozer, Milsap and Brand. They might be a bit more athletic, but that's not how they succeed. They succeed by banging, playing smart and using their skills to score the ball...something Love appears to be capable of. Certainly around the basket Love has the skills. Considering Ike has microscopic fraction of the bball IQ of Love and is certainly not more athletic, Love will at least be a huge IMMEDIATE upgrade at backup PF.

Love has fairly good length and will use his girth and positioning to rebound the ball. Yes, I think he will be a solid pro.

MillerTime
05-18-2008, 02:19 AM
heres an interesting read on Love from ESPN.com

Kevin Love, PF, UCLA


Love was the first player I wanted to see in this environment. We already know that he's one of the most skilled big men to ever enter the draft. His basketball skills, both in the paint and out on the perimeter, resemble those of an NBA veteran.

His basketball IQ is off the charts, his footwork is strong, his jump shot has range out to the NBA 3-point line, his outlet passes are legendary and he has a series of step-backs, up-and-unders and spins that made him one of the top 5 players in college basketball this season.

However, what Love has lacked is explosive athleticism and a chiseled, athletic body. As a freshman at UCLA, he often carried a spare tire around his waist. He seemed to run out of steam in up-tempo games and, at times, looked like he lacked the athleticism to excel in the pros.

Love's strengths and weaknesses have generated a huge debate among NBA scouts and executives about his NBA prospects. Sure, he knows how to play the game. But would that be enough in the up-and-down, breakneck pace of the NBA?

Abunassar has spent the past three weeks with Love and the results are really impressive. Love has lost 13 pounds since UCLA was bounced from the Final Four and he's starting to show muscle definition. He really is getting up and down the floor -- he went through a one-hour, fast-paced workout and finished with plenty of gas left in the tank.

Ford's NBA Dish
Chad Ford chats with Kevin Love about his training regimen, and more. Listen
Love is clearly in much better shape than he was at UCLA and it dramatically improves his game. He's more explosive getting off the floor. He moves better laterally. And he isn't sacrificing the trademark strength that made him one of the toughest big men in college basketball.

Abunassar said a mixture of conditioning and dietary changes have led to Love's improvements. He now eats structured meals several times a day and is working out roughly five to six hours a day. In addition, Abunassar is working on improving Love's flexibility and agility -- which has really helped with his quickness on both ends of the floor.

"Kevin has been working hard," Abunassar said. "And I still feel like we're scratching the surface. He's probably going to lose about five more pounds before Orlando [the NBA pre-draft combines that begin May 27] and we're still working on his explosiveness and flexibility. Every week he's looking better and better."

Love's confidence shines through on the floor. He's taking the lead in drills, encouraging everyone in the gym and going all-out on every drill.

After the workout, he said he's treating basketball like a job. "I want to come in to work every day and put in 100 percent. I know NBA teams expect a lot and I don't want to disappoint them. I love the game and I want to be the best player I can be."

Love admits that he struggled to stay in great shape at UCLA and said he felt that his eating habits were the primary problem. Love said he didn't eat a lot of junk food (thought he mentioned a fondness for chocolate milk) but that he ate large quantities at bad times. Now he's spreading out his meals and it makes a difference.

On Thursday, at least, Love didn't look like the slow, unathletic big man that many NBA scouts had pegged him. He was pretty nimble on his feet.

"I'm telling you right now, I'm going to shock a lot of people coming to the combines," Love said. "Whether it's jumping off the floor or the agility drill or the three-quarter court sprint."

Watching Love work out and seeing his confidence has pushed me to rethink his draft stock. If he goes into pre-draft combines in great shape and shows he has the requisite athleticism and quickness to be a full-time NBA power forward, Love could really move up the board -- possibly in the 5-to-10 range in the draft.

We've already identified the Bobcats, Bulls and Pacers as possibilities. A few other teams higher up in the draft like the Grizzlies and Sonics might also have to give him serious consideration.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/draft2008/insider/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=DraftWatch-080516&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba %2fdraft2008%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumni st%3dford_chad%26page%3dDraftWatch-080516

Anthem
05-18-2008, 04:49 AM
heres an interesting read on Love from ESPN.com
Was already posted. Thanks though!

rm1369
05-18-2008, 04:06 PM
Does it concern anyone else that Love is now getting into very good shape? I know he had a high school knee injury but, IMO, there is no reason for him to have been as heavy as he was during the college season. He could certainly get in and stay in great shape, but in the back of your mind don't you have two wonder if his game will mirror Brad's in more ways than one? Primarily a lack of dedication to his body. I for one am very concerned about his ability to stay healthy for 82+ games.

Players having a career years in a contract year concern me. Players getting in great shape for the draft after being in poor shape throught the college season concern me. Most importantly, heavy players with prior knee injuries concern me.

Will Galen
05-18-2008, 05:41 PM
Does it concern anyone else that Love is now getting into very good shape? I know he had a high school knee injury but, IMO, there is no reason for him to have been as heavy as he was during the college season. He could certainly get in and stay in great shape, but in the back of your mind don't you have two wonder if his game will mirror Brad's in more ways than one? Primarily a lack of dedication to his body. I for one am very concerned about his ability to stay healthy for 82+ games.

Players having a career years in a contract year concern me. Players getting in great shape for the draft after being in poor shape throught the college season concern me. Most importantly, heavy players with prior knee injuries concern me.

I have the same concerns. However, if he's there at 11 we pretty much have to pick him, unless someone like Gordon drops too.

rexnom
05-18-2008, 05:48 PM
Yeah, Gordon, Love, Westbrook are all great value at 11. I don't think we'll have much choice. We'll be lucky if one (not to mention more) is there.

eldubious
05-18-2008, 05:56 PM
Kevin Love is the common sense pick assuming the roster stays the same. Love is a perfect compliment to O'Neal (ala B. Miller), and the fact that he can start fastbreaks plays well into J'OB's system. A big part of that is if Tinsley sticks around and plays up to his capabilities. The Pacers could be the run and gun team they always dreamed about if Love lives up to his potential. An option the Pacers could use is drafting Love at 11 and trading Foster for a 1st round pick to get Augustine, that would be a bold compelling move that the Pacers are ready to build for the future.