By Yusuf Gadlin
Rumors are starting to swirl that the Chicago Bulls are willing to part with defensive minded but offensively growing power forward Taj Gibson for whom many consider the best power forward in the game Minnesota Timberwolf Kevin Love.
Upon learning of this purpose trade I was in complete disagreement for simple fact Kevin Love doesn’t play defense the way Taj Gibson does and I have always been a firm believer that defense wins championships.
However, I did a head-to-head comparison between Love and Gibson when these two are guarding each other for an entire game and came away with these results: In the last seven games against each other Kevin Love averages 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in 30.1 minutes of game action; Taj Gibson, on the other hand, is averaging 10.5 points and 7.4 rebounds in 25.4 minutes of game action.
Love is out producing Gibson by seven points and three rebounds and that’s not bad for Gibson seeing how he is averaging five less minutes than Kevin Love who has more opportunities. I feel If Taj Gibson is a full-time starter in the NBA. He is easily an all-star and with the way he plays defense I feel he is more of a complete player.
Essentially, if Taj Gibson can add a three-point shot to his repertoire like Love give me Taj Gibson any day of the week. But unfortunately Bulls brass will look at Kevin Love’s eye-popping numbers of 27 and 12 and probably pull the trigger on this deal.
I have no beef with Kevin Love. I think he is a tremendous player, but if the Bulls couldn’t cover Carlos Boozers’ defensive deficiencies for three-plus years what gives us hope that Kevin Love will get his act together?
Yes, scoring is important. Yes, the Bulls need an all-star to put the ball in the basket. I get all that. But in the playoffs ( where Kevin Love has never been) the game slows down, and eventually becomes man-to-man defense.
What happens if Kevin Love’s beautiful stroke isn’t falling and to add insult to injury he is getting torched by a David West or an engaged Chris Bosh who seems always to have the Bulls number–then what? At least with Taj Gibson you know your defensive effort every night; and, the few touches he receives on the offensive end he is surprisingly efficient hitting nearly 48 percent of his shots making him the most efficient Bulls player of this past season.
If the Bulls decide to make this trade, Kevin Love, with his very impressive offensive game, better bring his defense with him because if he is not producing the way we saw in Minnesota ; and, he puts forth a phony effort on defense. Things are going to get pretty ugly for the prized power forward –just ask Carlos Boozer.