Jan 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) reacts after receiving a technical foul next to guard Ricky Rubio (9) during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves: The Case Against A Kevin Love Trade

The Kevin Love trade fest is in full bloom and there are probably thousands of fans on trade machines right now, trying to figure out how they could get Love to join their favorite team. This has lead to an inevitable backlash of; “Kevin Love is overrated” and “We don’t want Love, he has never even been to the playoffs.”

So why have the Love trade talks captured the attention of the media? Should fans want him on their team? Is Love really worth all of this? Is he over hyped?

The answer to the last question is no, and the previous two a resounding yes. Love is absolutely a top 10 player in the NBA, and pursuing him is something everyone NBA team should and will do, provided they have the assets to do so.

He was third in PER, fourth in Win Shares per 48 minutes in the entire NBA. Additionally he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists(second highest mark among big men) a game. Those are extraordinary numbers, and Love is an extraordinary player. Plug him in at the 4 or the 5 and you’ll immediately find yourself with the makings of a great offense.

“Stretch 4s” come out well in advanced statistics because they affect the offensive in such a positive manner even if they do nothing but stand in around. The extra space creates driving lanes and more space for posts ups, and perhaps most importantly opens up the pick and roll game into pretty much indefensible positions.

The normal ways of guarding a pick and roll just don’t work. If you leave your man to hedge on the ball handler Love will be left wide open, switch and he will destroy you on the post (Love has beautiful moves and footwork near the rim. Producing 0.92 points per possession according to Synergy Sports, a pretty good mark). If you stick with Love his man will blow right past you and into the lane.

Guys like Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki and Ryan Anderson are absolute game plan destroyers on offense. Love is just an absolute beast and one of the best players on offense in the game. He’s the full package on that end and more valuable than most people realize.

Defensively, if you’re 6’10″ with a 6’11″ wingspan, you should be an above average defender by just being there. That has not been true so far in Love’s career.

The defensive metrics are pretty brutal, on adjusted plus minus systems Love ranks somewhere around 100th (97th in ESPN’s Real Plus Minus), with basically every competent big in front of him. How much of that can be attributed to mailing it in is up for question, and there is no reason why a player as smart as Love should be so bad.

But again: Players who are big, smart, and Love happens to be really strong, should be at least impactful defenders if they are locked in and play the right way. There’s no reason to expect he won’t improve.

Love is not a bad athlete, contrary to popular belief; he measured with a 35-inch vertical in his rookie combine. That’s really good.

 What about the lackadaisical team success?

It’s true that Love hasn’t made the playoffs in his six seasons in the NBA, which is a cause for concern. But there’s a multitude of mitigating factors; Love was hurt for a majority of the two seasons before this one, and before that the T-Wolves really didn’t have a team that was capable of making the playoffs no matter what.

When you go through Love’s seasons, the only knock on him you can really make is that the T-Wolves didn’t make it this year. The Western Conference is just brutal that way and every year some really good teams will be left out of the playoffs.

They probably would have been one of the best teams in the East. If you adjust for strength of schedule and remove luck (just look at net rating and ignore the fact that the Wolves were 7-14 in games decided by five points or less or OT) they were on pace to win 48 games, the 10th best mark in the league, Placing them seventh in the west or fourth in the east.

The Timberwolves were ranked ninth in offensive and 12th in defensive rating. We usually consider being top 10 in both categories a sign of a great team with a chance to make a strong playoff push. They are not far off from that.

The point is the stats tell a clear tale. The T-Wolves are better than their record this year showcases, and Love really helps a team win.

Without Love on the floor Minnesota was a -5.3 in net rating, compared to +5.6 when he played. That’s the differential equivalent of first being one of the top seven teams in the league to going to the bottom five (Ricky Rubio actually fared really well in these stats also. Stop hating on him, even though he’s not a good shooter that guy is a really good basketball player. Rubio is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and the way Rick Adelman used him in his corner offense was beautiful and nullified much of Rubio’s perceived weaknesses).

Mar 31, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea (11) drives to the basket past Los Angeles Clippers guard Darren Collison (2) in the second half at Target Center. The Clippers won 114-104. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In addition horrible luck in close games, it’s the bench that was the problem; Minny couldn’t find anything reliable until Gorgui Dieng‘s emergence. Alexey Shved was horrible and Chase Budinger was hurt or coming back from injury the whole season.

Jose Barea has lost that 2011 magic and thankfully his contract expires after next season. Shabazz Muhammad did nothing of note in his rookie season and Luc Mbah A Moute can’t shoot. At all.

The Timberwolves need to find a way to address their shooting woes, they ranked fifth-worst in the league percentage wise last season. They are over the cap, but perhaps through a draft or small trade they can stack the deck a bit more.

Rim protection is also an issue. Minnesota ranked second to last in field goal percentage at the rim, and they allow more than an average amount of opportunities there.

The Love-Pekovic combo is beautiful on offense. I like the high post action and passes to a posting Pekovic in the lane but neither of them protect the rim, which is something you really need to build an elite defense.

The Wolves really should be looking for a trade partner who would be interested in Pek (Pekovic for Roy Hibbert anyone?). It really looked like the Wolves found something with Dieng at the end of the season, and while he’s not really ready to step into a big role next to Love, there’s something there for Minnesota to latch onto.

The Timberwolves weren’t a bad defensive team this year but I feel like they are already sort of “capped out” at above average.

 What options do the T-Wolves have if they want to keep Love?

First off it starts off by making the hard choice of not trading him this summer. It’s a gamble for sure and you have no idea if it’ll pay off.

The Wolves just have to hope that they can “catch up” to their stats and become next year’s Portland Trail Blazers. Remember, LaMarcus Aldridge was unhappy before the start of this season, but winning has a way of turning the perception around.

It’s just difficult getting top 10 players like Kevin Love, and the NBA is a league where you need top talent to try and win a title. There’s only about 12 players in the league who really move the needle, and Love is one of them.

Just look at the Orlando Magic after trading Dwight Howard; The consensus right now is that they won the trade and they just went through their second consecutive year of winning less than 30 games.  They actually have some young pieces but if you’re the Wolves and blow it up you will be starting from scratch.

Just look at the most rumored trade partners; Boston, Golden State and Phoenix.

How many of them are willing to part or even have real blue chip prospects. Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes and picks sounds nice but trading Love just puts you back so much. It’s easy to say that the T-Wolves should be more open to trade Love but the flip side of that is brutal.

Keep the band together and try to find some answers in your key areas of weakness: Bench, shooting and rim protection. Hope for the best.

I’m not saying that’s what the T-Wolves should do; If you get an offer you can’t refuse that gives you back a blue chip prospect or great draft picks they might have to pull the trigger, but if not, there’s at least an OK chance that the ship rights itself and we are just all overreacting. Winning tends to solve all problems.

Apr 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) grabs the ball pre game at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Players who are as good as Love don’t usually become unrestricted free agents at 26 and look to leave their home teams(the CBA has economic incentives to sign with your current team, including an additional fifth year of salary, and makes it difficult for teams even close to the cap to sign guys like Love), which is the reason behind all the craziness in the media.

But if you are another team looking for a key piece to contend you should absolutely put all your chips behind Love. Players like Love are precisely why you collect a war chest of picks and other assets for. You get Love in the east and you are instantly a threat to make the conference finals. He’s just that good.

Bottom line, I wouldn’t trade Love unless I absolutely felt I had to, or the package offered to me just blew me away. It’s too big of a step back that the Wolves would suffer for the next five years.

Tags: Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Len

    If the Wolves keep Love the team will be for the most part the same next year which means the Wolves will hover around .500 and see if they can obtain the 8th seed. If KL is not traded he will play on the team next year and then will promptly leave in 2015 via free agency. Nothing will keep Love here unless there is a serious playoff run next year which I do not see happening.Trading him continues to make more sense considering the situation.

    • Dreamer22

      There are a couple holes in your reasoning. Flip is the only HC that has ever brought the Wolves to the playoffs, and he did it 8 straight years. If Pek and KMart remain healthy (I know, I know), they need to step up their game which should be expected, and with the emergence of Dieng, they should be able to make a run. If they trade KL, they certainly won’t get a top-level player, and the last thing they need is another handful of second-level players. Draft picks won’t help either because right now with Love, they are at their closest to their chances of making the playoffs as they ever would be with draft picks and 2nd level players.

      • Len

        Withe KL and Pek together the Wolves will never have a team that can advance in the playoffs.Plenty of offence but very mediocre defense. Pek has yet to play an entire year with out injury. Playing less minutes would definitely help.I read to day that Golden State will offer Klay Thompson ,David Lee and a future first rounder for the two Kevin’s.Throw in Harrison Barnes for one or two second round picks and I will take that deal. TWolves could still compete for a playoff spot.complete

        • Dreamer22

          While I respect your opinions, I disagree with both of them. “With KL and Pek together the Wolves will never have a team that can advance in the playoffs”. — There are others who provide defense – Rubio, Brewer, Turiaf, Deing. Saunders has been a superb defensive coach. Besides, offense is half of the game, they were 3rd in the league last year. “[without Love] TWolves could still compete for a playoff spot.” — To me, that’s a stretch. Another handful of second-level players cannot take the place of a top-level player (my opinion). And draft picks are not needed. That would be planning for the future. The Wolves need to win now. They will never have a better chance than with KLove (my opinion) this year. In deference to your first opinion, perhaps trading Pek is the answer. Taylor might have to swallow some of his salary.

          • Len

            KL will be gone from this team either by trade this year or via free agency next year.He will not sign a long term contract with the Wolves. Please be mindful that Flip who I like had KG a player who was very strong on both ends of the floor and even then only advanced past the first round only one time. I do not agree with your assessment at all….

          • Dreamer22

            One addition to your first statement. If the Wolves make the second round of the playoffs this year, KL will re-sign a long term contract. That might be where we differ. My guess is Flip will be working hard this year to get Pek to be better defending the post and shot blocking without fouling out. The main reason for KL not getting blocks is his positioning for rebounds. Rarely do you have a player who can do both. KG is one exception. And any players who do both, cannot come close to the offense of Love. The reason Flip didn’t win much in the playoffs is that there was a huge dropoff of talent after KG. The Woofs this year have a much better supporting cast. What happened to KG when he got a better supporting cast? He won the championship. These are the reasons why Love (this year) is a better fit for the Wolves than KG ever was. Not trying to compare them individually, but as a fit with the team.

          • Len

            Trying to have a discussion with someone who is in love with Love is counterproductive. KG is one of the top 5 PFs of all time.I would select him over KL in a New York minute.The Wolves will not advance to the 2nd round with this same team next year with the same supporting cast.Lastly you are trying to compare KL and KG. At best KL will be on this team one more year.Hopefully the drama queen will be gone this year.

          • Zach Williams

            Bench production is all the Wolves need, if we dump Barea and Cunningham, sign Greivis Vazquez or Kirk Hinrich as backup PG, draft a good player, and make some other good FA signings, this team could be AT LEAST a 6 seed, especially with Flip as our coach.

          • Dreamer22

            Did you read my last sentence of the last post? As I said, I’m not trying to compare them individually, just matching their fit with the team and their respective supporting casts. Besides, comparing a 19-year player to a 6-year player (as you did, not I) is unfair and fruitless. You’re right, trying to have a discussion with someone who hates Kevin Love is not only counterproductive but obviously falls on deaf ears. And name-calling does not befit you. And making rash predictions without discussing the pros and cons is fruitless also. I suggest you dump your sarcasm and try to discuss using analysis and logic. A little give-and-take wouldn’t hurt.

          • Len

            I have read all off your comments and I do not agree with any of them. My comments are not sarcastic bur direct and to the point.I do not like KL because he does not play defense with the same desire that he does on offense. In his career he has only fouled out I believe one time. This indicates that he lacks intensity on the defensive end of the floor. I have watched this team since the beginning and have watched many players going back to the 70′s.KL is a drama queen. He likes to be the center of attention.He is always complains about being fouled which affects the team particularly on the defensive end of the floor.All the numbers he has accumulated has contributed nothing to team success.

          • Dreamer22

            I have to chuckle when somebody says “I don’t agree with anything you say”, and then not address most of the points. Better to say “I don’t agree with point A because …”, etc.

            My main opinion: With Love, they CAN go far this year, without him they CAN’T. I’m not saying they WILL go far, there are too many other variables, but it’s damn sure they are doomed without him, for next season and years to come. This season is IT folks. Otherwise sit on our butts for 13 years until another Love or Garnett comes along. Look at the NBA champs and runners up over the last 15 years or so. Every single one of them had at least one Superstar on them. The Woofs could have a dozen second tier players and be lucky to make the playoffs, especially in the Western Conf.
            Right here I had a list of stats where Love beats Garnett in Career points, rebounds, seasonal stats, etc. But I’m sure you know them. If you wish, I’ll post them for you.

            A New York minute? Why would you choose Garnett? Couldn’t be because of stats. Maybe because he has 13 extra years of stats? Well, that wouldn’t be fair. Consistency over 19 years? Well maybe but we need to look into Love’s future, so I’ll give you a little. Take Garnett over Love today? I don’t think even you would buy that one – even if just for one year. Garnett in his prime? Love’s isn’t in his prime yet, and most of his stats are already better or approaching Garnett in his prime. Intangibles? Yeah with those and a sawbuck, get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. If you project Love’s stats over Garnett into another 13 years, he will obviously pass KG. Obviously, KG is a future Hall of Famer, no question about it. But KL is already looking like it too. You would pick KG for his career performance, but bypass KL for his career potential? And please don’t talk about career ending injuries, that can happen to anybody. If Durant had a career ending injury right now, would he make the HOF? Unlikely.

            Intensity? So you also hate Durant, Duncan, Nash, Parker, etc.? Older guys like Magic, Bird, Shaq, Stockton and Kareem? You know, people who let their performance do the talking? Drama Queens on the court like Kobe, LeBron, Garnett, who are always yelling and demonstrating are your type huh? Superstar or not, drama queens on the court are disliked by most fans. Garnett was always the “ME, ME, ME” guy. Kobe Bryant complains to officials more than the next 5 guys combined, but he has the stats. So your “complaining” comment is out. And KG was no slouch at griping either. And KL decided two years ago to cut back on complaints, which he has done. That comes with maturity. By the way, in his personal goals, Love is extremely intense. He strongly pushes himself to improve every year, which he has done, quite radically. He practices very hard before and between games, and in the offseason. He is a good leader by keeping the intensity up and pushing his teammates to improve. Just because he doesn’t holler at refs and fans, doesn’t mean he is not intense. Intensity on defense? Love is a good post-up defender, is always in the top 3 in defensive rebounds, is the best defensive outlet passer in the league. Not everybody can be a DHoward on defense, but his offense sucks. Not everybody can be a Carmelo on offense, but his defense is limited. Pick your poison. So you need Love to increase his shot blocking? Since he has improved both his offensive and defensive stats steadily, there is no reason to believe he won’t continue. His steals and blocks last year were the best of his career, so he’s already improving (Garnett’s stats in his first 6 years weren’t his best, as are most superstars). He’s 25 years old and is continually in the top 5 in points and rebounds. Give him time. I can’t think of a player who has had first 6 year stats like Love who has not gone on to the Hall Of Fame. His potential is on a trend toward passing up Garnett. I am not so eager to give up on KL, and most of the MN posts on this board and others are with me. I realize that time is short, but for me it’s this year or never. With Love, they can go far this year, without him they can’t.

            You go for your intangibles, like intensity, complaining, leadership, etc. I’ll go for stats. Do intangibles (like intensity, complaining, teammates, coaches, height, leadership, etc) translate into a New York Minute? Go for it. But for stats and *KL career potential* (vs. *KG career performance*), I’d go for Love in a Minneapolis Minute. Especially now, when any trade would diminish this team not only next season, but for years to come. I’ll take my chances this year on making a playoff run with KL (and Flip – and player improvements like Rubio, Dieng, KMart, etc.) and if he leaves after, then I’ll deal with it. Oh and don’t give up on Love signing anyway. Taylor has some pretty deep pockets. And he knows as well as anybody that players like Garnett and Love don’t come along every day. He’s had a taste of championships with the Lynx and I’m sure it tastes pretty good. He has spent money to bring better players to the Lynx, why not think that he might do the same for the Woofs? Instead of sending KL to somebody for a couple second tier players, why not send our second tier players for a top level player? I don’t know who or how, I’m just ruminating, but it’s better than just being a naysayer.

            Sorry for being repetitive a few times. I edited this on the fly. And sorry if I’m sarcastic at times, I just love to refute the naysayers. Negativity has never been my forte. I’m always thinking on the positive side. The negatives only have one option: Trade Love (well maybe more options: Trade Love to Team X, Trade Love to Team Y, Trade Love to Team Z). On the other hand, I say keep him for this season and lose him after the season if necessary, OR pay him an outrageously high multi-year salary and keep him, OR trade Pek for an equal-level forward, OR trade a few second-level players and draft picks for a top-level player, OR … OR … maybe just make some trades for a change of pace?
            Also sorry for the being so windy. But I like to explain my opinions and not just blather with things like “Love won’t be with the Wolves next year” or ” I disagree with everything you say”, without explaining myself.
            Oh well, I’ll get in touch with you after the next season, with or without Love and we’ll see what happens.

          • Len

            I do not like Kevin Love……

          • Dreamer22

            Hey Len, I don’t blame you. It’s pretty obvious he is a prima donna. But he is also a top notch player. I guess I’m just tired of the Timberwolves just languishing in mediocrity for two and a half decades. They had a chance with Garnett but Taylor blew it by not getting him some help (Sprewell and Cassell is not help). Now with Love, they have another chance. I used to love the NBA, but it’s changed…. Big Market Rules, Superstar Rules (haha, I once saw Lebron take 5 steps on a drive to the basket with no call), Big Money Rules, etc. Places like Minnesota, Denver, Portland, Utah, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Toronto, need I say more? Occasionally one pops up for a few years, but gets yanked down by the forces of Big Markets and Big Money. OK you can name a few exceptions, but the whole thing stinks. You gotta figure that refs are bought off. Hey, if sponsors pay a couple million dollars per minute in the playoffs, what’s a few hundred thousand to a few refs? KLove get pulled every which way, pushed down, elbowed in the throat, smacked in the face, stomped on, etc but no call. LeBron drives to the basket and gets touched on the shoulder and Boom! Yeah. Foul!! And don’t say anything about it or it’s a Technical! Remember that game where the TWolves got called for 5 technical fouls in 10 seconds?? It’s on Youtube.
            You know KLove was just an innocent kid when he came here. He had desires, dreams, like any other kid. But he had passion for improvement. For a couple years he played the rookie game, getting no-calls and swallowing it. But he realized that the good guy doesn’t win. So he watched other players, past and present to see how they handled their ambitions.**OK so he’s not real good at it.** That’s probably his personality. But he wants to win. And he wants big money. And he’s doing it the best way he knows how. It may not sit right with you and me and the fans, but it’s his way. Hell, I have a granddaughter who is older than him. Some 25 year olds are less mature than others. I seem to remember Carmelo and LeBron in recent years making fools of themselves. And how about ‘Starbury’ back in the day? Immaturity sometimes leads to prima donna status.
            These days, the only way to win a championship is to BUY IT. Kevin Love knows that, and you and I know it. And like I said before – YOU CAN’T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP WITHOUT AT LEAST ONE SUPERSTAR. Glen Taylor has had his head buried in the sand for a long time. But surely by now he understands the basketball player’s mind. Right now he has a top-notch Head Coach, a top-level player, and to my mind, an above-average supporting cast. With some tweaking, you know maybe a high-level player(?). But if he blows this opportunity, I’m through. Twenty-five years of a honeymoon is too much for me. Taylor can kiss my patoot.

          • Dreamer22

            Are you saying that a handful of second-level players can replace a top-level player?

          • Dreamer22

            Are you saying that KG himself could have won the NBA championship with a better Head Coach?

  • jmndodge

    You never improve without changes – unless you are a very young team (college team with all underclass starters). Trading your best player where your bench strength is weakest is not the way to improve. Coaching change will make a big difference. This will not be the same team – Cunningham is a ? (legal troubles) JJ should be on the bubble, Budinger will not be playing hurt (hopefully), and with developing Dieng – Pek will be limitd in minutes (hopefully that keeps his feet/ankles healthy) and Martin will not be played into ineffectiveness. Love and Rubio can play 35 minutes. Shved can backup PG 13 Brewer/Martin/Budinger/Mohammed can all play 20 minutes a game at wing. This leaves a few minutes for a couple strong draft picks and perhaps whoever we can get to replace Luc Mbah a Moute/Hummel/JJ/Jeffers. Turriaf/and perhaps Hummel provide deep bench in case of injury. Rookies can become 3rd PG/6th Wing/2nd & 3rd PF. This is not a team to blow up. Adelman did that last season with his poor bench substitutions. After next season Make the effort to keep Love – deal with it if we lose him. Pek/Budinger/Shved will also have shown their value as keepers or trade. S. Mohammed also will have played himself into our out of favor. Go Wolves.

    • Dreamer22

      I pretty much agree with everything you said, especially “After next season Make the effort to keep Love – deal with it if we lose him”. Without Love, regardless of who the Wolves get, the team will be further from the playoff run. If the purpose of trading Love is to go into a “rebuilding mode”, then OK. But good grief, they’ve been in the rebuilding mode since Love arrived. Now that he is at his peak, why start over now?

    • http://www.facebook.com/scottsilvi Scott Silvi

      That’s not entirely true. Continuity is so important in today’s game. And this wolves starting unit had 0 minutes of experience w/ the addition of two new starters. And the other 3? Played 12 minutes together the previous season. Obviously we were brutal in close games early – totally expected with younger players who haven’t played together (and also some bad luck). Continuity alone, and a better bench, and this team should win 45+ next year. This cannot be overstated:

      Without Love on the floor Minnesota was a -5.3 in net rating, compared to +5.6 when he played. That’s the differential equivalent of first being one of the top seven teams in the league to going to the bottom five

      • JOHN

        rating means nothing considering most the wins were blowouts and Love was not out in long stretches. And how much better did rubio play with Martin and Love off the floor? Those two are ball hogs. I would trade them because I know they will do nothing for the franchise.

        • Dreamer22

          The Wolves have been rebuilding for 25 years. Now when they have arguably the best team they have had in many years, you want to start all over. Third in the league in scoring ain’t bad for a bunch of ball hogs.

          • JOHN

            Rubio, Pek and brewer have more value than love. Cunningham was a better over all player than Love.

          • Dreamer22

            Ya right. Go back and put your tinfoil hat on.

          • JOHN

            We will find out this year. Real nice response. Shows your intellect.

          • Dreamer22

            Oh, you mean like “Cunningham was a better over all player than Love.”? That took a lot of intellect. My response was geared to the level of seriousness of the statement.

  • Dane Veerkamp

    Calling Kevin Love 6’10″ is pretty generous.

    • Dreamer22

      Why? Have you stood right next to him? I would guess that 90% of all players are not listed at their correct height, higher or lower, for a variety of reasons. You mean to say that he accomplished all of his rebounding stats at a lesser height than he is listed? I guess that means he is even more of a stud. Eh?

      • Dane Veerkamp

        My point is you shouldn’t expect a guy that’s 6’8″ with poor NBA length to be a rim protector.

        • Dreamer22

          6’8″ – Have you stood right next to him? How can a 6’8″ guy with poor NBA length be consistently in the top 3 in rebounding every year, and yet continue his high scoring? We’re talking Dennis Rodman territory now (without the scoring). What a stud! My point is, good luck with your 6’8″ idea. Keep your eyes on Dieng for rim protection now (I hope). That will take some responsibility away from Love for rim protection, so he can concentrate on scoring, assists and rebounding.

          • Dane Veerkamp

            You do realize he measured at less than 6’8″ at the combine, right? I’m not sure why it’s so unbelievable… He’s a great rebounder because of his strong base and positioning.

          • Dreamer22

            So he measured at 6’8″ at the combine and 6’10″ at the Timberwolves. Who do you believe? They all change their measuring for their own reasons. Some measure in bare feet, some in shoes. Durant is 3″ shorter than listed, Howard is 2″ shorter. Some choose to believe A, some choose B. It’s all relative anyway. If they all hedge, than it all evens out. For me, it doesn’t matter. I just like to challenge those who think they have the one and only answer.