Blake Griffin and Kevin Love will be the marquee match-up on Friday night as the two power forwards face off in a game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves are in Lob City this weekend for the a contest against Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers. The game will be missing what would have likely been the main event as Chris Paul is expected to miss the match-up with fellow point guard Ricky Rubio due to injury, but a match-up between two of the best young power forwards in the game is nothing to scoff at.
Love and Griffin were voted as the second and third best power forwards in the game, behind Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks, in a poll published on NBA.com earlier this week. Steve Perrin from Clips Nation went a bit further in-depth regarding the match-up of the two different players that play the same position.
The marquee matchup tonight, the one that ESPN will be talking about and building pretty graphics around, is Kevin Love versus Blake Griffin. In four meetings last season, the two were pretty evenly matched. Griffin scored better (26 compared to 20), Love rebounded better (13 to 11). Of course, Griffin won on the scoreboard in three of the four meetings. The irony is that although everyone will talk of the battle of the power forwards, the two might not even guard each other. Minnesota may want to put the length of Darko Milicic on Griffin to start the game. And though I think the Clippers will start with Griffin on Love (since they don't want Love to be luring DeAndre Jordan too far away from the basket), I suspect that coach Vinny Del Negro will switch Jordan over onto him at points throughout the game, just to give him a different look.
It'll be an interesting game of cat and mouse, it sounds like, but both players are certainly capable of going off -- and likely moreso if they don't have to defend each other on the opposite end.