Which member of the Cavaliers gave up the most as the team rolled towards their first title? According to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, it was Kevin Love.
Lee Jenkins’s latest feature for The Crossover (The Biggest Stop Of Kevin Love's Life Wasn't This One) details Love’s personal growth and journey with the Cavs. Love’s critical defensive stop on Stephen Curry late in Game 7 of the Finals helped seal Cleveland’s title. His stats have dipped from his gaudy Minnesota numbers, but when called upon, he’s come through for the Cavs.
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Lue, who took over as head coach from David Blatt midseason, says Love gave up more than anyone on the team in order for Cleveland to succeed.
From Jenkins's story:
Love averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in his first two seasons with the Cavaliers, a respectable stat line on any roster but well short of the standard he set in Minnesota. Last December, he shot 37.3% from the floor, making it easier to bench him for defense and blame him for losses. “I don’t know how it happened, but he caught all the grief for everything, and it wasn’t fair,” says Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue, who succeeded David Blatt last January. “Guys like LeBron and Kyrie, they have the ball in their hands, and the bigs take what they can get. Everybody sacrifices, but Kevin sacrificed the most.”
Love gave up touches, managed to block out the critics, found a niche on the roster and stepped up big. The Cavs were better off for it.
Read the full story, along with Jenkins on Russell Westbrook and many others, on The Crossover.