Kevin Love has been in the league for six years and still has not seen the playoffs. This season that is about to change.
While with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love put up elite level numbers while manning the post and delivering from three point distance as well, shooting 37.6% from beyond the arc . Despite his All-Star talent, he did not have a strong enough supporting cast to ever sniff the playoffs. Now that he has joined the Cleveland Cavaliers he is going to have to push his postseason vacation back a few weeks.
Love has scored a total of 6,989 points in his NBA career thus far, for a career average of 19.2 points per game. This past season he average 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. This shows that he was putting in work each game and doing his part on the offensive end as well as getting rebounds. He was the leading scorer for the Timberwolves and the main guy to turn to in late game situations. He was able to shoot whenever he pleased with the Timberwolves, but it will be a different story with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers have so many scorers that Love will not be the only one looking to score at will. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, top shelf scorers themselves, are going to have the green light all season long and learning how to share the shot allocation with Love will be a huge key to the Cavs’ success in 2014-15. Love will still get his points and rebounds each night but they will be lower than what he had with the Timberwolves. Love’s days of averaging 26 points per game are probably long gone but he will still put up a solid stat line somewhere in the range of 15 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Love will have to bring his passing skills with him to the Cavaliers this season. He is known for his long outlet passes to guards to start the fast break. Last season he averaged 4.4 assists per game. So, imagine his outlet passes to Irving and then to James for an alley-oop. The Cavaliers will have an awesome fast break game, something James is used to.
Love is not a notorious shot blocker, averaging a mere 0.5 blocks per game a season ago. For a big man who spends a lot of his defensive time around the rim that is a below average total. Love, instead, focuses his attention on clearing the defensive glass with efficiency. He averaged 9.6 defensive rebounds per game last year. He will also have to work on contesting shots better and not playing “hands down, man down” style defense.
The season looks bright for the young new Cavalier. His career-long playoff drought will come to a close this spring. Stay tuned this season to see Kevin Love shine as a teammate, rather than the lone wolf.