Could Kevin Love become the NBA’s first 30-15 player in 40 years?
With 28 points and 10 rebounds, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love last night had the 20oth double-double of his career in his team’s 117-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Since coming into the NBA in 2008-09 out of UCLA, Love has the third most double-doubles in the league behind Dwight Howard (290) and David Lee (241).
But Love’s play this season, averaging 27.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per game after 10 games, raises the question: Could Love average 30 points and 15 rebounds in an NBA season?
Through the first 10 games, Love has reached 30 points and 15 rebounds in the same game three times. Only one other player, Nikola Vucevic has one 30-15 game this season in the NBA. Love now has 21 games in his career where he scored 30 or more points and collected 15 or more boards in the same contest. Since 2008-09, that is the second most in the league behind Howard. Here’s a look at the players who have had the most 30-15 games since 2008-09.
30-15 games since 2008-09, Player(s)
23: Dwight Howard
21: Kevin Love
13: Zach Randolph
8: Chris Bosh
5: Al Jefferson, David Lee
4: Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki
Scoring 30 or more points in a game with 15 or more rebounds is one thing… averaging 30-15 for the season in quite an accomplishment. In fact, the last player to average 30-15 in an NBA season was 40 years ago when Bob McAdoo averaged 30.6 points and 15.1 rebounds per game during the 1973-74 season. Since then the closest player to achieve this milestone was Moses Malone in 1981-82 when he averaged 31.1 points and 14.7 boards.
Even if we drop the parameters down a bit to averaging 27 points and 13 rebounds a game in a season, there are just a few players who have achieved those numbers. Through the first 10 games of this season, Love would make the list. Can he keep up this pace and finish at 27-13?
If Love ended the season averaging 27-13, he would become only the 11th player in NBA history to reach these numbers. Following are the 10 players who averaged 27 points-13 rebounds in an NBA season (listed in parenthesis are the number of seasons with 27-13). Wilt Chamberlain (8), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7), Bob Pettit (5), Elgin Baylor (4), Elvin Hayes (3), Walt Bellamy (2), Moses Malone (2), Bob McAdoo (2), Shaquille O’Neal (2), Bob Pettit (1). The last player to reach 27-13 in a season was Shaq in 1999-2000 when he averaged 29.7 points and 13.6 rebounds per contest.
Pretty impressive company if Love should retain his early-season numbers… other than O’Neal, who will eventually be elected, the other nine players are all members of the Hall of Fame.
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