I've talked about this before, but Kevin Love has been showing a disturbing trend of bitching at referees when he should be playing basketball. As Zach Harper (@talkhoops) pointed out on Twitter, at what point does Rick Adelman call him out for bitching instead of running back on defense, or hustling for a loose ball? He's clearly the only one on the team with the "moral authority" to do so (although soon, Ricky Rubio will be in that category).
No one seems to be noticing it, but Love, as good as he is, is actually not having a good year compared to 2010-11. I suspect, by the way, that they aren't noticing because his shot attempts are up, which means his points-per-game are up, and that's what gets you paid in the NBA.
|Careers per-48 Stats
|Career Shooting Efficiency
Lower rebounds, assists, and shooting eficiency, higher personal fouls and turnovers. Some of this is probably sample size, some of this is because Ricky Rubio is a good rebounder and Darko's rebounds are up and there is only one ball, but some of this may also be due to too much time looking at refs with that annoying "Where's the call?" look instead of running back on defense, or hustling to keep that ball the defender just slapped out of your hands.
And as I pointed out before, I get it; I understand the frustration. Ivan the Terrible really earned his name last night. He was using hacksaws and chainsaws all 4th quarter long, and that final play was as blatant a charge as I've seen in a while, and I didn't see Ivan get fouled on the shot, either, so, yeah, refs, thanks bunches for what amounts to a 3-point swing (instead of wolves getting last possession with 10 seconds, which probably has a point-expected-value of about +1, they get -2 from Johnson's FTs). I think the Wolves having 12 free throws in that game was an absolute disgrace and truly reeks to high heaven of the NBA trying to "correct" the injustice of the Wolves' 38 free throws the night before. Yes, I really believe that refs talk about these things in their pre-game meetings, and it influences their behavior. If the NBA would like to disabuse me of this notion, perhaps it should try for a process that even remotely resembles transparency in officiating.
But all this isn't the point. Even if I am right, that fact plus five dollars will get you a latte. You want to influence the refs a bit, make them give you more calls? Rack up a T during a timeout. Rack up a $25k fine after a game. Hell, ask Rick Adelman to rack up a few Ts. During the game, shut the hell up and play ball. How on earth a guy who bitches and moans as much as Kevin Love does, for all the world to see on every TV broadcast, does not lead the NBA in technical fouls, is a complete mystery to me.
And, seriously, would it kill you to get the defensive boards in close games? The Wolves lost to both Chicago and Atlanta to big offensive boards. I find it mildly ironic that this would happen to the team with the reigning NBA rebounding champion.