3 things Cavs fans should want to see from Kevin Love this season

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Kevin Love reacts in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ biggest name left from their 2016 NBA championship team is forward Kevin Love.

With the 2020-21 NBA season about to begin the Cleveland Cavaliers have a mix of young players and veterans with championship experience.

One of the biggest names on the veteran list is 6-foot-8 forward Kevin Love who is entering his 13th season overall and sixth with the Cavs. As a former first-round draft pick, five-time All-Star, and former NBA champion, he’s still a clear focal point for Cleveland.

Love, who had 17.6 points per game last season, is one of the NBA’s best shooting bigs, as evidenced by him hitting 37.4 percent of a career-high 7.0 three-point attempts per contest in 2019-20. He hit 39.5 percent of his catch-and-shoot triple attempts last season, too, per NBA.com’s shot tracking data.

So what should Cavs fans want to see out of Love in 2020-21?

We’ll highlight three of those from him for the Cavs.

The first is along the lines of his shooting, once again.

#1: Stretch the floor for the Cavs

The biggest upside to having a Kevin Love was he could play the game at an extremely high level both inside the paint and out on the perimeter. With dribble-and-drive guards like Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, that ability to stretch the floor will be much needed.

They will be able to drive the lane and kick to an open Love if his defender collapses or they can finish at the rim with a less-congested paint if his defenders decide to stay put outside. Having a guy like Kevin Love in today’s NBA that can stretch the floor and play inside and out has proven extremely necessary and it will be needed consistently this season, too.

And Kevin Porter Jr., in the drive-and-kick sense, should play into that as well with Love, to go with Isaac Okoro, somewhat.

#2: Rebound in bunches for the Cavs

Kevin Love in the past has been a perennial double-double player. He was easily able to get you the points you need from him and get to the 10 rebound mark per game. He hasn’t been necessarily a periennal double-digit rebounding guy, game-to-game, for a bit, though; not counting his injury-riddled 2018-19.

If the Cavs are going to be a surprise team and make strides in the Eastern Conference they will need Love to get back to, or at least close to that double digit rebound mark, from a game-to-game standpoint. He had 9.8 boards per game in 2019-20, which was good, and of course, Andre Drummond will gobble up a ton of boards this coming season.

That being said, with potential for smaller lineups at times for Cleveland and/or with Drummond off the floor here and there, having Love closer to the 11.5 or so range on the boards will benefit the team when they do go small, and those smaller guards are working the perimeter.

#3: For Love to be a teacher

The 32-year-old veteran is on the other side of his career and past his prime. Perhaps the most important thing on my list that I’d like to see out of Kevin Love, and Cavs fans should want, is Love starting to teach these younger guys not only the game on the floor, but how to be a pro off of it.

He seems really locked-in with the Cavaliers heading into this season, and on the floor/during timeouts, hopefully it’ll play out that Love will look to be a teacher for young guys.

Off the floor, though, he’s made his troubles with mental health well-known and those experiences can help him work with the mental part of being in this business and how to handle themselves, and the time is perfect in his career to do just that. He gets to help the next wave of NBA player for the future of the franchise and the league.

It will also help with bringing the team together when they do take the floor together right now. A huge trust factor will be there for everyone involved, to go with better communication, reading each other, and a closeness that great teams learn to have as they go.

Nothing can go wrong and everything can go right from Kevin Love teaching the next generation on and off the court, so long as he stays bought-in.

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Hopefully, he can show more of that sort of thing, as he seemingly did leading into the prior novel coronavirus-induced hiatus/end of last season.