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Kevin Love, UCLA Bruin and best PF in the NBA, hits his first game-winner

As I’ve highlighted before on this blog, despite the fact that the goal is to cover as much current UCLA Athletics news as possible, there are times when it’s too good to pass up what current, successful UCLA alum are up to in the world of sports.

Yesterday, it was point guard Russell Westbrook getting a max extension from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Today? Another UCLA Bruin from the 2008 Final Four squad highlighted the evening, when Kevin Love hit his first game-winner in the NBA against the flashy-as-hell and just-down-the-street-but-nobody-notices Los Angeles Clippers, which encapsulates the kind of year — and career — Love is having.  Check it:

Well, those damn bandwagoning Clipper fans got what was coming to them.

In all seriousness, though, this may have been the dagger in the “best power forward in the NBA” debate, at least for now.

Through 15 games, Love is averaging a ridiculous 25 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. He’s having the best defensive year he’s had in the pros with a defensive rating of 98 (which is the number of points allowed per 100 possessions). All while piling on the minutes, as he gets significantly more playing time now than he ever did under Kurt Rambis.

And that “best power forward in the NBA” debate? Kevin Love has to be leading that list, with Dirk Nowitzki off to a slow start and Blake Griffin proving to all of us that his post moves are still incredibly raw and that his defense is terrible.

At first glance, Love’s Minnesota Timberwolves are a middling 7-8 right now. But in context, it’s a hell of an improvement considering they only won 17 games last year.

Regardless, there’s no power forward playing at the level Kevin Love has. But this shouldn’t shock anyone — UCLA Bruins in the NBA tend to pan out pretty damn well, and Love is just one great player in a list of UCLA legends.

But tonight? Tonight’s Love’s night. Thanks for making us proud, Love.

(No term of endearment pun intended.)


NBA’s Russell Westbrook, former UCLA Bruin, gets paid

Although this blog is pretty current-Bruin-centric, it must be noted whenever one of the members of our incredibly-extended family achieves something awesome.

Today, UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook did that. Dude’s getting paid:

The max contract, you guys. That’s a hell of an accomplishment. And it’s well-deserved, too: Westbrook has established himself as an elite point guard in a league chock full of awesome guard play. Sure, he’s had his bumps, but he’s transitioning from being an off-guard in Westwood to being the on-ball guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Of course, there are some opponents. Really, really stupid opponents. Let’s take care of them, after the jump.

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