CONTINUED: Shooting Love is emerging as one of the best deep-shooting power forwards in recent memory. He is currently third among power forwards in 3-point percentage, and it appears he's finding his rhythm (9-for-11 in his last two games). Last season, Love shot 41 percent from behind the arc. (By comparison, only once in 14 seasons has Dirk Nowitzki shot a better percentage.) One of Griffin's points of emphasis this season was improving his outside shooting. While his 10-foot jumper has shown considerable improvement, his outside shot (and shot selection) continues to be the weakest part of his game. From 16 to 23 feet, no power forward is shooting more from that range at a lower percentage. Griffin attempts a whopping 4.7 shots per game from this distance. Translation: Nearly a quarter of his shots come from an area where he's shooting a paltry 30 percent (down from 33 last year). Griffin's 71 percent shooting at the rim is largely due to the fact that 37 of his 118 field goals are dunks. But his relentless work ethic, power and craftiness around the basket consistently get him easy buckets. Scores (out of 10): Love 10, Griffin 6 Leaping ability There is no better leaper from the 4 than Griffin. The Clippers forward, who jumps almost exclusively off two legs, famously coined the nickname Lob City and his breathtaking high-wire act has not disappointed. Griffin is third in the league in dunks with 37, which is seven more than he had after the same number of games last season. One area of concern is that outside of dunking, Griffin's ups don't yield much else. Griffin ranks 106th in blocked shots. There are 45 power forwards -- and two point guards -- who block more shots than Griffin. Love isn't a shot-blocker, either, but given his physical limitations, no one really expects him to be. But Love is not without his virtues. His vertical at the pre-draft camp in 2008 topped out at 34 inches, making him an excellent leaper by any standard. The biggest problem is that Love is not a quick leaper and lacks the ability to get any kind of useful elevation on his second and third jump attempts, while Griffin has the capability to slam home offensive rebounds on his third leap. But the lack of usable hops hasn't hurt Love, who's second in the league in rebounding with a gaudy 13.7 per game. Scores: Love 8, Griffin 10 Rebounding Love has become a master at the art of getting position -- planting his Size 15 feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and using his powerful legs to create a near immovable force beneath the rim. What makes him incredibly proficient under the boards is that he understands his teammates' tendencies and knows where they miss shots. Through constant film study and game awareness, Love discovered that small forward Michael Beasley often misses to the right while center Darko Milicic's missed shots fall short at the front of the rim. Love's 4.2 offensive rebounds per game rank fourth. Another tactical advantage Love employs is putting a body on a good leaper to prevent him from exploding off the ground, bringing the fight for a rebound down to his level. He also uses his big, soft hands to deftly tap rebounds to himself -- or away from opponents -- until he can gather himself and pull the ball in. Griffin operates around the rim by overwhelming opponents with athletic ability they simply can't match. He makes up for his lack of length by using his outstanding hops to soar above the rim for rebounds. Griffin (fourth in rebounding) is difficult to box out because he never stays in one spot on the floor for more than a moment, preferring to fly in from the perimeter to catch his opponent by surprise. Scores: Love 10, Griffin 9.5 Quickness A big misconception is that Love isn't quick. But when Kevin McHale drafted him in 2008, the first thing the GM noticed when working out Love was how quickly his feet moved in small spaces. After McHale's revelation, Love began focusing on ability he'd taken for granted. From the foul line to the post without the ball, Love moves as quickly as anyone his size. He can move from block-to-block more effectively than Griffin when trying to chase down loose rebounds or beat his man to a spot. On the other hand, when Griffin has the ball in his hands, his quickness really moves. No power forward is better at facing up, issuing a pump fake and then blowing by his man on the baseline for the gusto finish. He's becoming a master of misdirection, having developed several slick crossovers -- most notably a right-to-left between-the-legs move and a left-to-right in front of his body -- which he uses to beat his man on the wing or in broken play situations. Scores: Love 7.5, Griffin 8.5 Running The Floor Many bigs can only run one lane, usually a straight line from block to block. But Griffin is comfortable using any lane and doesn't lose much speed changing course as he heads up the floor. He's at his most dangerous running the outside lane closest to the sideline. He often takes a wide path from one block to the other that's more of an arc than a straight line. This gives the defense the illusion that he's out of the play, but it actually gives him a better angle to get behind the defense to catch the lob. Since he has to cover more ground with this path, he builds up a head of steam that causes most defenders to cash out by the time Griffin reaches the foul line. Love will generally stick to the lane between the blocks to accomplish one of two things: get deep post position or trail the break and spot up for the 3. (Almost 90 percent of his 3s are assisted on.) Love doesn't overwhelm opponents with speed down the floor but is fast enough to arrive in time to stake his claim on a desired piece of real estate under the basket. Scores: Love 8, Griffin 8.5 Defense While they each have little problem lighting up the scoreboard, both have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball. Outside of the lane, Griffin crouches in a quality defensive stance but often gets too low to effectively move his feet laterally and gives up the baseline as a result. His rotations aren't always the cleanest or most timely, but the ace up Griffin's sleeve is his love of physical play. Griffin thrives in contact situations that often frustrate weaker or less aggressive offensive players. One of Griffin's biggest weaknesses is his lack of length. That's hurt him one-on-one against lengthy power forwards and when helping weakside against centers. Love is rarely out of position but has difficulty providing resistance against quicker players who can get around him with one dribble. Love has a quality wingspan at just under 7-foot, but like Griffin, he has his trouble against long players, especially if they possess any kind of athletic ability. Last season, in four games, the very long LaMarcus Aldridge lit him up for an average of 30.5 points and 9.5 boards. Scores: Love 7.5, Griffin 7.5 Ball skills (Non-shooting) Griffin has excellent if not unorthodox ballhandling skills that open up the floor and give him more options to work with than Love. Griffin is a crafty passer and sees the floor exceptionally well. He can make plays for others in transition and half-court sets alike. He's particularly adept at finding shooters spotting up around the arc after he's doubled. His 1.5 assists leading to 3s is tops among power forwards and not too far off teammate Chris Paul's pace (2.2). Love puts the ball on the ground to create far less frequently than Griffin, but his ballhandling skills serve his needs well. On the perimeter he opts for the standard crisp chest pass to effectively swing the ball or well-placed over-the-head skip passes to shooters on the opposite side of the floor. It's a no-frills approach but prevents against unforced errors. His turnovers are up slightly this season, but that likely has more to do with his leading the league in minutes per game at 39.5. Scores: Love 8.5, Griffin 9 Love on Griffin "Against me he's always going to win the athleticism battle, but I'll be in there fighting against him," said Love. "I try to take away all of his easy baskets, especially in transition. That's more easily said than done, because he's going to get those. When he's getting those dunks that gets him into a rhythm. You don't want him to put the ball on the ground going to the basket, either, because you almost have to foul. But right now he's not shooting his free throws well, so it might be a good idea. When he figures it out, he'll be a beast. I hope he doesn't figure it out." Griffin on Love "You have to force Kevin into tough shots by pressuring him and getting a hand in his face, or he's just going to hit big shots all night," said Griffin. "Underneath he's so tough. He's one of the best at getting position and he's really hard to move. I try to get a body on him whenever possible. Like everybody else, I just try to be physical with him and make him work harder than he wants to for everything he gets. The guy is just a big-time player." Conclusion Final score: Love 59.5, Griffin 59 Griffin gets the lion's share of the headlines and attention, but the simple fact is that right now Love is the better player. Love's offensive game is far more advanced than Griffin's and his prowess from behind the arc makes him a more versatile threat, as well as the Timberwolves' No. 1 option to take the last shot. Right now Griffin is no more than the Clippers' fourth option to take the final shot for the win. Love is an anomaly. There simply hasn't been a player like him. Last season he was the first player in NBA history to average 15 rebounds and shoot 41 percent from the 3-point arc. This season he's on pace to become the first player since Hakeem Olajuwon in 1990 to average 24 points and 14 rebounds. On top of everything, he gets solid marks for his durability, as he's averaged 71 games per season in his first three seasons, an excellent number considering the amount of pounding his body takes. (It should also be noted that after the knee injury that sidelined him for the entire 2009-10 season, Griffin hasn't missed a single game since.) What's more, Love is also leading the league in minutes and displaying excellent leadership skills on a team full of talented but inexperienced players. Griffin is an immense talent, but right now Love is the better player.