Love's value soaring after near triple-double

December, 31, 2009
12/31/09
10:26
AM ET

Kevin Love missed having a triple-double by just one assist (17 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) in the Minnesota Timberwolves' loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. At this point, he might be the best fantasy option on the team going forward, even ahead of Al Jefferson. Love has a double-double in 13 of the 15 games he's played so far, and that's a trend that should continue all season.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30
HIGHLIGHTS
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: 35 points (15-25 FG), 2 steals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: 48 points (15-23 FG, 14-16 FT), 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks against the Atlanta Hawks.
Channing Frye, Phoenix Suns: 26 points (9-15 FG, 6-10 3PT), 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 steals against the Boston Celtics.
LOWLIGHTS
Michael Redd, Milwaukee Bucks: 6 points (3-12 FG), 2 rebounds, 3 assists against the Orlando Magic.
Peja Stojakovic, New Orleans Hornets: 6 points (2-10 FG), 1 rebound, 2 assists against the Miami Heat.
Rasheed Wallace, Boston Celtics: 6 points (3-11 FG), 4 rebounds against the Phoenix Suns.

More importantly, Love has been doing more than scoring and rebounding. He's making 3-pointers at an extremely productive clip for a big man (50 percent this season), and has nearly doubled his production in steals from a season ago. He's only going to get better as Al Jefferson returns to full strength and starts commanding double teams on the block.

As it stands now, Love is currently ranked 34th on the Player Rater based on average stats, and if he can keep putting up three or so assists per game to go along with a steal and a 3-pointer, his ranking will climb even higher. If you think you have any chance to trade for him, now would be the time, because his price tag is going to get higher and higher as he continues to show that he can play like this on a consistent basis.

Looking Back

LaMarcus Aldridge played just six minutes on Wednesday night for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Los Angeles Clippers after suffering a sprained ankle. As a result, Juwan Howard ended up leading the Blazers with 38 minutes. Howard is not going to wow anyone with his production, but for the next few games, he's probably worth playing considering the Blazers don't have any other healthy big men besides Jeff Pendergraph. … The Boston Celtics are in similar injury trouble after losing Glen Davis to an ankle sprain on Monday, and played without him and Kevin Garnett on Wednesday. If you weren't starting Rasheed Wallace, you should be until his comrades are ready to take back their minutes. 'Sheed had an awful game on Wednesday but should be better on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors. … David West backed up his 44-point outburst against the Houston Rockets with 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Miami Heat, and is now averaging nine rebounds per game over his past five contests. That's certainly an improvement from the 7.3 per game he's averaging on the season, which is good news if you haven't dealt him already. … At this point, when Chris Douglas-Roberts actually plays, he plays a lot of minutes and makes the most of them. That's the good news. I suppose we still have to wonder whether he can stay healthy, but he's a good enough contributor in points and steals that he should probably be in your lineup against all but the best defenses until further notice. … It was a rough start to the season for Mike Conley, but he's been a huge part of the Memphis Grizzlies' recent success, and seems to have established himself, yet again, as a legitimate fantasy point guard. For the time being, look for his minutes to stay in the high 30s while Jamaal Tinsley's minutes hover around 15 per game. … Congrats to you if you have any idea what's happening with the Indiana Pacers' backcourt rotation, and even bigger congrats if you played Luther Head, who blew up against the Grizzlies for 30 points on Wednesday. I still don't think he'll be consistent enough to warrant a regular start in any but the deepest leagues, however.

Looking Ahead

So far this season, Carl Landry has torched the Dallas Mavericks for 15 points per game on 74 percent shooting from the floor. Basically, the Mavs have no answer for him, and Landry's been great lately. Make sure he's in your lineup on Thursday. … Elton Brand hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire of late, but if there's a weak link in the Oklahoma City Thunder's defense, it's dealing with physical post players, and Brand could be the Philadelphia 76ers' best chance of competing for at least one night.

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