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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Kevin Love

Tyronn Lue says it would be ‘crazy’ to blame Kevin Love for Cavs’ struggles

Tyronn Lue

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is not buying the Kevin Love blame game.

Love played just three minutes in Cleveland’s 148-124 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday, citing an illness that some teammates did not believe was legitimate. For his part, Lue thinks it’s “crazy” that Love is being blamed in any way for the performance against the Thunder.

“I mean, that’s crazy,” Lue said, via Joe Vardon of cleveland.com. “If Kevin was out there we might have given up 170. Who knows, man. We’ve got to be better, got to just stay together. We’re being tested right now. This is when your true character comes out and the character of who you are as a person and as a player. We’ve got to step up and play basketball.”

It certainly sounds like Lue isn’t endorsing the ire some of his players were reportedly feeling toward Love. Perhaps that’s one reason for a possible disconnect between the coach and his players.

Jae Crowder does not help Kevin Love up off floor (Video)

Kevin Love Jae Crowder

Jae Crowder isn’t exactly helping dispel the narrative that Cleveland Cavaliers players are frustrated with Kevin Love.

During the third quarter of the Cavaliers’ loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Love got knocked to the floor while going for a defensive rebound. He put his hand out hoping Crowder would help him off the floor, but Crowder just walked past him:

Crowder may have been frustrated about allowing the basket, but this still doesn’t look good given recent reports. The Cavaliers had a meeting on Monday in which Love was reportedly targeted. He seems to have become a scapegoat as the team struggles.

Interestingly, the same thing happened to Kevin Love when LeBron didn’t help him up back in 2015. The two later teamed up to win a championship, which seemed to help their relationship.

Report: Isaiah Thomas led charge against Kevin Love

Isaiah Thomas Cavs

Is one of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ newcomers part of the reason for the issues with Kevin Love? That’s what one report is saying.

The New York Daily News’ Frank Isola reported in a column on Tuesday that Thomas was the driving force behind the Cavaliers’ issues with Love.

From Isola:

A source told The News that Isaiah Thomas led the charge against Love, who turned up ill for Saturday’s embarrassing loss to Oklahoma City and went home after playing just three minutes.

Love played just three minutes in the Cavs’ blowout loss to the Thunder on Saturday night and left because of an illness. He then missed Sunday’s practice. The Cavs then had an emotional meeting on Monday in which the legitimacy of Love’s illness was questioned.

Love seems to be taking the blame for the Cavs’ recent downturn, which actually coincides with Thomas finally making his season debut. Love’s minutes and stats have been down across the board since Thomas joined the starting lineup.

Kevin Love addresses meeting where he was confronted by teammates

Kevin Love

The relationship between Kevin Love and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates may be nearing a breaking point, and Love tried to address some of the negative energy surrounding the team when he spoke with reporters on Tuesday.

A report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski claimed the Cavs held an “emotional meeting” on Monday where players questioned the legitimacy of the illness that kept Love out of most of the team’s blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder over the weekend. On Tuesday, Love said he felt the meeting was about more than just him and that he would have preferred if the details of it remained in-house.

Love was reportedly the first player off the Cavs’ team bus on Tuesday and walked onto the court alone. Going forward, he said his only goal is helping Cleveland win games.

LeBron James was also asked about the meeting, but he simply said he does not want to talk about it.

Love’s usage rate has been down since Isaiah Thomas returned, and he has been terrible in the month of January. After he averaged 22.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 29.7 minutes per game in December, his numbers are down to 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 23.9 minutes this month.

It seemed like Love was being used as a scapegoat for some of Cleveland’s early struggles when LeBron first returned, but a lot of that went away after the Cavs won the title. Now that they have lost nine of their last 12 games, Love seems to be taking the hit again. Meanwhile, LeBron has no problem congratulating himself on personal accomplishments as rumors of dysfunction swirl.

Report: Cavs question Kevin Love’s illness at ’emotional’ meeting

Kevin Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers did not play on Monday, but they reportedly had some big business to discuss.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Cavaliers held an emotional meeting prior to practice on Monday during which the legitimacy of Kevin Love’s illness was questioned.

Woj says Love tried to explain his side.

Love started and played just three minutes during Saturday’s embarrassing loss to the Thunder in which the Cavs allowed 148 points. He took two shots and missed both of them.

Love was said to have had an illness, which led him to leave the game. He did not practice with the team on Sunday.

On Monday, Love did tell reporters that he felt dizzy on Saturday and that he is now feeling better. He is set to play on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old forward has struggled to find his way in the offense since Isaiah Thomas joined the starting lineup. His usage rate is down and his stats have been terrible in January. For the month, he’s averaging just 12.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 23.9 minutes per game. Compare that to December when he averaged 22.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 29.7 minutes per game.

When Love first joined the Cavaliers, he had some issues with LeBron James, but that seemed to pass after the Cavs won the title. Now that Thomas is in the mix, Love is trying to find his way on the team, and it clearly has not been easy.

Ranking the 10 best big men in the NBA

DeMarcus Cousins

Big men are a dying breed … except when they aren’t. Hail to this era of seven-footers who dribble like guards, jump like pogo sticks, and shoot their shots from deep like drunk texts at 3 AM. And here are the ten bigs leading that charge right now, not counting those who missed the cut due to injury (Rudy Gobert, Blake Griffin, Paul Millsap, Hassan Whiteside, and Nikola Jokic).

*Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com*

10. Kevin Love, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers

Love being the Joe Biden to LeBron James’ Obama sure has a nice ring to it. A lot of dominoes did have to fall for our favorite Banana Republic model to even be in this position: Kyrie Irving moving to Boston to flatten dreams, Tristan Thompson getting injured, and Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose both being unavailable for one reason or another. But Love has barreled in headfirst through his new window of opportunity, slaughtering defenses with his smoldering three-point shooting from the 5 spot and proving just as effective at smoking smaller players who switch onto him down low. As Cleveland’s undisputed No. 2 option offensively, he is once again a nightly 20-10 threat just like those halcyon Minnesota days. Whether you need a 38-point half or a 94-foot touchdown pass, it’s obvious that my man is a Love supreme.

9. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

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Kevin Love jokes about checking back into hospital after big game

Kevin Love

Kevin Love broke out on Tuesday night with his best game of the season, and the strong performance had him in a joking mood.

Love had 32 points and 16 rebounds — both season-highs — in the Cavaliers’ 124-119 win over the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday. The big game was an especially good sign after Love left Sunday’s game early. He scored just four points in 18 minutes in the loss to Atlanta. Love actually went to the hospital briefly after Sunday’s game and reportedly felt ill.

Two days later, Love had his best game and joked about going back to the hospital for good luck.

“I dunno. Whatever they gave me, I might go back. Might check myself in tonight,” Love joked after the game.

Going back to the hospital probably would be a bit much for Love, but his breakout game was an excellent sign. Maybe the Cavs are headed in the right direction after a rough start. They’ll face a tough test on Thursday night at Houston.