Cleveland Cavaliers: Kevin Love Believes He Is An All-Star Every Year
Although he hasn’t had an All-Star appearance since joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, Kevin Love believes he is an All-Star player every year.
Kevin Love spent his first six seasons in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves. During this time, he was named a Western Conference All-Star three times (2011, 2012, 2014).
Despite his success early in his career with Minnesota, Love hasn’t been named an All-Star since being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the summer of 2014.
When he came to Cleveland, Love had to sacrifice his game for the betterment of the team. He averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds during his first two seasons with the Cavs, which were his lowest totals since his second season in the league.
Love’s name surfaced in trade rumors during his first two seasons with the Cavaliers. Despite his early woes in Cleveland, Love remained positive and knew he would eventually turn things around.
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According to Chris Fedor of cleveland.com, Love believes he is an All-Star every year he is in the league–despite the drop off in his production.
“I think you come in every year hoping to play well, play your best and I believe in my heart every year — and it’s not like I forgot how to play — I’m an All-Star caliber player. I don’t necessarily need All-Star appearances to show that,” Love recently told cleveland.com. “If we continue to win and we keep playing well I think there’s a goal and it’s within reach. But it’s not something I’m going out every night saying I have to be an All-Star.
While David Blatt was at the helm, Love was primarily used as a stretch four who camped behind the three-point line. This didn’t end well, as Love is at his best when he is getting consistent touches from the elbow and putting up as many shots as possible.
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Love also had to adjust to playing behind two other All-Star players in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. With Minnesota, Love was the go-to guy on offense, putting up as many as 19 shots per game; with Cleveland he was forced to learn to share the scoring load with his teammates.
After two seasons of not playing to his full potential, Love is back to putting up the big numbers he had been accustomed to in Minnesota. As a focal point in Tyronn Lue‘s offense, the 28-year-old is averaging 21.7 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field.
James Jones was a big part of getting Love back on track. “I told him all along just be yourself,” Jones said, per Fedor. “At the end of the day the only thing you can control is who you are and what you do and people can like it, they can dislike it, but I’ve learned over my years that when you win they love it. I think he embraced that.
Jones’ advice has seemed to work, as Love is having his most productive season since joining the Cavaliers. At this rate, the big-man is on track to being named an All-Star for the fourth time in his career and his first time since 2014.
Is Kevin Love right? Even though he hasn’t made All-Star appearances, is he an All-Star every year he is in the league? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @KJG_NBA.