- Ric Bucher, NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer
If you took Kevin Love in your office pool for this year's top NBA rebounder, you're either some strange UCLA-Minnesota Timberwolves acolyte or you enjoy picking long shots. In any case, you clearly don't judge books by their covers.
Love, who wasn't among last year's top 100 rebounders -- because he didn't play enough games to qualify -- is generally viewed as a mildly athletic undersized power forward. (Listed as 6-foot-10, he admits he's "6-foot-9½ on a good day.") Yet he's leading the league with a robust 15.6 boards a game, a full 3.3 better than his closest competition, Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, and 3.6 better than Orlando's Dwight Howard, who has owned this category for three years running. Love also became the first player since Moses Malone to rack up 30 points and 30 rebounds in one game with 31 and 31 on Nov. 12 against the New York Knicks.
No one saw this coming. Other than Love.
"I did know I was capable of this," he said. "I just didn't know it would come so soon."