Cavs: It was good to see Kevin Love aggressive in his burn vs. Sixers

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Simply put, we have not seen Kevin Love much in game action for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. Love has only appeared in five outings thus far due to a right calf injury/reaggravation and/or soreness that’s hampered him.

Love, objectively, has had injury issues often in his time with the Cavaliers, too, as many know. Love, for instance, only played in 22 games in the 2018-19 season, mostly because of toe surgery.

In relation to this season, Love had been sidelined since Dec. 27 versus the Philadelphia 76ers because of the aforementioned calf injury, and then returned post-All-Star break, playing 10 minutes at the New Orleans Pelicans. He would then play very briefly at the Atlanta Hawks the game following that, though, and wouldn’t return to avoid a potential setback.

Love hadn’t been active for the nine games following that sub-two minute Atlanta stint, which was reportedly due to a recent scan “showing scar tissue breaking up,” per’s Chris Fedor. But he was back for meaningful burn on Thursday, in what would end up being a rough loss versus a Joel Embiid-less Philly. The Cavs’ wheels fell off in the second half of that one.

Albeit Love did make his presence felt, on the plus side, and his approach was a key takeaway.

It was good to see Love aggressive in his return for the Cavs on Thursday.

At this point with Love, the injury struggles have been there so frequently, that I don’t want to overreact from what he showed on Thursday. And because of the injury complications he’s had, and with how Larry Nance Jr. and Dean Wade have played (and hopefully Nance is back soon from a non-COVID-19-related illness) I don’t foresee Love often playing a starting minutes-share from here.

That’s as in playing over half of games, not relating to whether or not he physically starts games, for context. Point being, that frankly, to reiterate, just seems unlikely at this point.

Though it could perhaps help Cleveland find an eventual trade taker for him in the offseason, it’s difficult to project how much, game-to-game, he will still play. Cleveland and Love/his representation maybe in the near future/early on next season potentially agreeing to a buyout might seemingly play out eventually, anyhow. We’ll table that for now.

Anyway, it was still a plus to see Kevin with an aggressive approach in that Philly game when he was in, however. Love, if able to go for stretches of games, still can be a very valuable piece for the Cavaliers, given his shooting capabilities, and how his presence can help Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and others due to the floor spacing presence.

He did end up cooling off after a red hot start, which was inevitable, but Love did end up making an impact in his 20 minutes of burn against the Sixers on Thursday, either way.

He had 13 points, and was three-of-six from three-point land thanks to quite the scorching start in the first quarter, in which he played nine minutes. It was apparent that the Cavs were looking to get him get going early, but he definitely took that approach and ran with it, too, which was nice to see still, I thought.

Love, who scored all of his points in the first quarter, again did cool off, and finished four-of-10 from the field, but did have three assists as well. Albeit there were three turnovers, to some degree due to rust. As Cavaliers fans know, though, the veteran is a gifted passing big, too.

Moreover, while we’ll have to see about what plays out/if Love can stay in the lineup for Cleveland from here, his aggressive mindset on Thursday was a positive sign, and hopefully, he can get himself in a nice rhythm from here.

And as a brief side note, it was a plus to see Matthew Dellavedova get some burn for the Wine and Gold in that one as well, from a reserve playmaking standpoint.

Delly has been gradually working his way back from complications involving a serious concussion suffered back in preseason, particularly as he also has endured other concussions in his career. He had been working his way back from an emergency appendectomy as well, additionally.

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Albeit to drive it home, Love coming out firing on Thursday and looking to get himself going, which can still provide a spark for the Cavs, I’d imagine especially early in games and perhaps in crunch time, for example, was good to see.