The Big Three was a smash hit, but Kevin Love’s struggles were lost in the shuffle.
Love’s numbers took a dive, but that was the least of his worries. That comes part and parcel with the transition from top dog to third banana.
In Minnesota, the offense ran through Love and it was up to him to facilitate as he saw fit. In Cleveland, Love played on Irving and James’ terms. Love vacated the post to clear driving lanes, he finished plays rather than making them for others, and mostly, Love stayed along the perimeter to serve as an over-qualified stretch-four.
More frustrating, still, were the occasional media spats with James, the narrative of Love never quite fitting in, getting benched in fourth quarters, and of course, having his season end on a vicious armbar by Kelly Olynyk, only to watch his team charge into The Finals with his replacement Tristan Thompson garnering an endless string of praise.
So on one hand, Love finally made the playoffs for the first time in his seven-year career. But on the other, Love was forced to reinvent his whole game, while being chastised for not being who he once was.
Love got what he wanted, but none of it came on his terms.
Read More: theScore