Player Preview: Kevin Love

As the Cleveland Cavaliers season begins this Tuesday in Chicago, one of the most important players will be playing in his first game since game four of the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics.  That player is Kevin Love.  This past off-season Kevin Love, as expected, opted out of his contract to become a free agent.  He then re-signed with the Cavaliers for 5 years/$110 million.  There are big things expected from Kevin Love this season and he is ready to step up and take that challenge.  Love made it well known that his main reason for coming back to Cleveland was when he had to watch from the sidelines while the Cavaliers lost in the NBA finals; he “never wanted to be in a game more.”  He wants to win titles and he is back and ready to go for the Cavaliers.  Whether it be the infamous poolside meeting with Lebron, Love’s desire to win, or a combination of both, he is ready to make this season a memorable one.

Kevin Love had a somewhat disappointing first season for the Cavaliers.  He saw his ppg drop almost 10 points to 16 points per contest.  He also had three less rebounds per game, which is something that Love has always been, a relentless rebounder.  Love looks to improve on those numbers this year after being with the team for a year and meshing with his teammates.  There were reports early on that Kevin Love didn’t like his role in Cleveland and that Lebron didn’t like how Love was playing at times.  That is all a thing of the past as Love and the Cavaliers are ready to focus on 2015-2016 campaign.  One of the most interesting things will be watching Love and Lebron play without Kyrie Irving for a few months.  I think Lebron will want to get Love more involved in the offense.  Love took six less shots/game in Cleveland than his last season in Minnesota.  Kevin Love being on the court opens up the offense tremendously for guys who can attack the paint like Lebron, Shump, and Kyrie.  Teams have to respect Love as a shooter (career 37% from three point range) and it opens up the paint for drives to the rim, or drives with a kickout to Love.

I think Kevin Love really steps up this season and has a big year for the Cavaliers, especially with Kyrie Irving out.  Love and Lebron will lead the team in scoring on most nights with Irving out, and they will need to for this team to live up to lofty expectations.  I expect a very focused and prepared Kevin Love this season, especially with how his first season in Cleveland came to a sudden end at the hands of a long-haired Canadian who looks like he would fit in at a Woodstock reunion.  Love is in the air in Cleveland, and it will help carry the Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA Title.


Ian Tumey




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