Kevin Love should soar up ranks in Cavs history in this category

Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Last season had to have been considered a resounding success on the part of Kevin Love, who was moved to a bench role with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Coming into last season, based on how recent seasons had been, with injuries, at times moments of visible frustration and him having been active in only 25 games in 2020-21, it was difficult to know what to expect.

Fortunately, the shift to a bench role paid dividends for Love and the team, and despite him only averaging 22.5 minutes per game, he put up 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest. It was just nice to see Love often in a good rhythm, and the buy-in from him seemed there all the way, and he excelled for a team that took marketed strides, and nearly made the postseason.

It was impressive that for his efforts, Love finished as the runner-up for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year, and on the year, he led Cleveland in three-pointers made with 187. That was third in Cavaliers history in triples made in a single season.

Maybe more notably, though, Love made 173 threes last season off the bench, which set a Cavaliers team record for a single year, as the team recently pointed out in Love’s “Cavs Player Day” on the teams’ socials.

With Love currently at 174 bench triples made in total within the Cavs, he should rise up the ranks in team history in that category quick, and that’d once again prove he can still give the team a significant lift.

Love should soar up the ranks in Cavs history in bench threes made, provided he’s healthy this coming season.

As we alluded to, Love was outstanding in his role shift to a key bench shooter in 2021-22, and he still gave the Cavaliers quality defensive rebounding in his minutes.

What was huge, though, is that Love was able to be a crucial floor spacer again for the Cavs, and he knocked down plenty of looks from productive ball-swings, and he still was able to provide pick-and-pop play as well. Overall, Love connected on a robust 39.2 percent of his three-points, of which were 6.4 per contest.

Now, this upcoming season, with others involved, and I’d imagine Lauri Markkanen being much more comfortable offensively in his role in playing more at the 3, I wouldn’t anticipate Love having nearly as many deep looks.

He’ll still have a healthy amount of deep ball opportunities, however, in the event he stays available, and while his injury history is extensive, and I won’t dispute that, Cleveland found their blueprint in how to manage his workload last season. So with that in mind here, I personally expect Love to soar up the ranks in terms of made threes off the bench in Cavs history in this season ahead.

He’s second in team history in made threes overall with 1027, and seventh in total rebounds with 4213; that goes without saying.

Even still, at the moment, he sits at No. 10 on the list for made threes in team history off the bench, with teammate Cedi Osman in front of him with 184. But while I’m not suggesting he’ll eventually be passing the Cavaliers’ all-time leader in that category, in Daniel Gibson with 411, I would imagine if Love plays in most outings next season, he should still get his fair share of opportunities.

I don’t foresee it being outside the realm of possibility that he could be nearing on Kyle Korver in that No. 4 spot with 270 or Danny Ferry at No. 3 with 307, in 2022-23, if Love is mostly healthy.

Of course, I’d personally think Love’s raw three production to dip some in this season ahead, with others in the fold; that said, based on what he gave the Cavs last year, he should soar up the ranks this upcoming season in the aforementioned bench threes category.

And if that were to play out, to me it’d prove that he can still provide a considerable impact when he is in there, and perhaps he could be a player the team looks to bring back next offseason if both sides can come to a fairly reasonable deal. For now, he’s set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season and could be a potential trade candidate at some point.

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Love will be turning 34 next month, so I’d understand if he’s not re-signed, but his shooting for stretches can still be big for the Wine and Gold, and he can be very effective if he can remain healthy. I acknowledge that’s not a certainty, in fairness.