I’m not sure how this season will play out for the Houston Rockets assuming the NBA resumes, the Rockets are going full-on small ball and
no one is taking them seriously come playoff time due to them running PJ Tucker at the center position. I understand the NBA going from having 2 juggernauts in the paint to having 5 shooters on the floor but the Rockets are taking a bit too far. I love them acquiring Robert Covington as that wing-defender which they clearly lacked in last year’s playoffs after Daryl Morey and Tilman Ferttita thought not re-signing Trevor Ariza won’t cause them much but clearly it did since they were nowhere near as good on defense as they were the season prior when they won 65 games behind an elite defense which Ariza was a big part of. This season the Rockets have had Russell Westbrook and James Harden run the show, most would say the Westbrook and Harden attack isn’t as lethal as Paul and Harden were but I won’t say Westbrook and Harden won’t be capable of winning a championship in Houston just yet.
So let’s look at Kevin Love, he was known as an absolute bruiser on the low-block in Minnesota days and was putting up historical numbers grabbing upwards of 30 rebounds in one game to go along with 30 points which is absolutely mind-blowing. He never took Minnesota anywhere and they never saw the playoffs behind Love and Rubio, so LeBron James decides to return to the Cavaliers and thought Kevin Love would make all the difference in case he had to face the Spurs again in the Finals. But the Warriors took the league by storm and Love was neutralized by Draymmond for years after losing a good 30 pounds. Kevin Love did play good on ball-defense on Stephen Curry Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals and forced Curry into a heavily contested 3 pointer in the closing minutes of the game which no one speaks about, all we hear about is LeBron’s block on a stiff-back Iguodala but that is the way it goes when you play alongside LeBron James. At 31 years old I still think Kevin Love has a good 3 years where he can contribute to a team seeking a championship and no fit would be better than the Houston Rockets.
This is more than likely Mike D’Antoni’s last season as Head Coach of the Houston Rockets which is good for the Rockets in my opinion, the Rockets’s objective should be to hire a coach who Westbrook and Harden will actually listen to and get them out of their iso heavy ways which Mike D’Antoni is doing nothing about. I think Kevin Love would be the perfect 3rd option alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook, if you are over the age of 25 you might recall Westbrook and Love being teammates at UCLA so chemistry won’t be a problem for Love if he joins the Rockets. Watching Kevin Love on the Cavaliers alongside Kyrie Irving and LeBron James who played the same iso heavy game Russell Westbrook and James Harden are currently playing in Houston, with the right coach who won’t be a pushover like Tyronn Lue was in Cleveland the Rockets could whip up a secret recipe for a that long alluded title for Westbrook and Harden if they play their cards right this coming off-season and bring in the right coach to manage a Big 3 of Westbrook,Harden, and Love. Even if Kevin Love is not the polar bear he was in Minnesota I think Russell Westbrook can re-ignite that fire Kevin Love has lost in Cleveland where he has endured losing over the past 2 years and played grandpa to Collin Sexton and Darius Garland ever since LeBron James took a exit out of Cleveland.
Playing Kevin Love at the center position probably wouldn’t be the best idea even though the NBA has become a 3 point shooting contest with centers with no scoring skills becoming extinct like dinosaurs but Kevin Love does not have the weight,athleticism,and height to put fear into any guard driving to the basket. What he can do is get you the rebounding the Rockets sorely need, ever since the Rockets traded Clint Capela they’ve struggled to get 40 rebounds a night which in the playoffs will become a major problem when you are trying to get second chance possessions. The Rockets can go with PJ Tucker at center since he has the tenacity,athleticism,and grit to challenge anyone at the rim and would make up for what Kevin Love lacks. Throw in Westbrook and Harden making defenses collapse by attracting double teams and Love could have a field day terrorizing opposing teams from the corners and top of the arc shooting what should be open jumpers most of the time, Kevin Love is a former 3-point shooting Contest Champion I think he would have no problem knocking down a good 35 percent of his looks, once a shooter always a shooter. Kevin might not have the same brute strength he once had but shooting over 35 percent from 3 point range has never been a problem for him.
To conclude I think Kevin Love would be the perfect fit on the Rockets so long the Rockets bring in a coach who emphasizes defense instead of Mike D’Antoni’s if you are open shoot it philosophy. Chris Paul’s leadership skills and ability to play both sides of the ball made up for a lot Mike D’Antoni’s deficiencies which have hampered him his whole coaching career. I remember James Harden confidently saying he will get a championship eventually and he said it with so much confidence which made it very believable despite his collapses in the playoffs year after year. Bringing over Kevin Love to the Rockets makes me think of when the Bulls brought over Dennis Rodman which made all the difference against the Magic after Jordan suffered a playoff exit to Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal. Not to say Kevin Love is the difference maker Dennis Rodman was but he falls right in line with Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Kevin Love at this point in his career is not the top 10 player he once was but a star who deserves to compete for something instead of rotting away in Cleveland as a mentor. He still has a ton to offer and is as unselfish as they come, he won’t come to Houston to step on Westbrook and Harden’s toes. He is already a former NBA Champion and would be the power steering fluid to a steering wheel which is currently stalled in Houston, till next time.