Kevin Love will miss Monday’s preseason game
After Lebron’s departure this summer, all eyes turned to Kevin Love. Many assumed Love would be traded in preparation for a complete rebuild to the Cavs but instead the franchise extended Kevin Love, and as a result extended his responsibility to the team.
Love has expanded his game to the 3-point line, where he has proven to be one of the most effective stretch 4s in the league.
“I think, on the floor, something that’s more surface-level is just being able to shoot the ball,” Love said. “I think one of the big reasons Cleveland traded for me in the first place was being able to play with two ball-dominant guys like Kyrie Irving and LeBron James — LeBron being such a freight train and Kyrie being a magician with the ball and having such an unbelievable handle. With them playing downhill, you have to be able to be a knockdown shooter. And having my size and being able to shoot at a high clip and play on the perimeter a bit is a luxury.”
“I think that is one of the big things I’ve continued to evolve in my career,” Love added, referring to his perimeter shooting, “Early on in my career, I wasn’t shooting too much from the outside.”
Last season, Love knocked down 41.5 percent of his shots from deep on nearly six attempts per game — the second-highest average of his career. But, The Cavs immediately dropped the ball when LeBron left Cleveland. The Cavaliers became one of the worst teams in the league. However, the squad seems committed to remaining competitive. It is most evident in the four-year extension the Cavs gave Kevin Love.
What will happen to the Cavs when Love is injured?
Kevin Love is the focal point of their offence, and currently their best player. History shows the Cavs lean on one player to lead the game. So, how will the Cavs go about now that Love is injured as he has a sore left foot, and in the future if he gets injured (which happens quite often)? To put things in perspective, over the last two regular seasons, Kevin Love has missed 45 games.
The Cavaliers will have to go on with their business without their best baller on Monday, but how well they’ll do is another story. Kevin Love has averaged 11.3 rebounds per game for his career. Between Tristan Thompson, Larry Nance Jr., Sam Dekker, Osman, Ante Zizic, David Nwaba and Sexton (both two good rebounding guards), they could patch things together, but again, it wouldn’t be nearly the same.
Love is fresh off a season in which he shot 41.5 percent on 5.6 three-point attempts per game, and he had the best true shooting rate of his career at 61.4 percent, per Basketball-Reference. That spacing is not simple to replace, and none of Cleveland’s other big players have the same variety of post-up moves Love has.
If Love ever misses significant time in the coming months, Cleveland’s non-tanking approach could shift to keeping their protected 1-10 first-round pick from the Atlanta Hawks. Whether or not he does miss significant time, the Cavs might end up unloading a combination of Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and/or Hill. They all have partially non-guaranteed contracts for the 2019-20 season.
Love is resting out Monday’s match, which could be a good move. It may prevent Love from being injured to focus on games which are more important. But, the reality is that if Love misses time, the Cavaliers will have trouble on the offensive end, and pretty much have no game.