The Cavs have been struggling offensively for the better part of the last few weeks, in part due to their horrid shooting, Kevin Love may change that.
Kevin Love is almost ready to return for the Cleveland Cavaliers. People have seemingly forgotten that Love isn’t exactly someone who’s going to fall off like other guys of his caliber. He’s not overly athletic and has always been a banger who can shoot. Turns out you can be that well into your 30’s. So it’s ironic that so many people are talking about how he can go to a contender, stretch the court and add some much-needed shooting; when he can provide all that for the Cavs.
The Cavs are awful offensively, in part due to the selfish play of their young guards, as well as their poor shot selections. You can argue that both Darius Garland and Collin Sexton are shooting over 40% from the floor, but when you’re losing games by 20, who cares? If you can’t keep pace with the other team, then your high-percentage shooting is irrelevant. If you can’t make the shots you need to make to keep pace, your scoring is hollow.
Since Garland and Sexton are the primary ball-handlers on the team, they carry the weight of the offense’s failures. They’re more concerned with getting mid-range floaters than working the perimeter looking for the best shooter to get the best shot.
The Cavs’ offense is horrid. They’re 22nd in field goal percentage, 30th in three-pointers attempted, 20th in three-point field goal percentage, and 30th in free throw percentage. The last stat is even more damning than the three-point percentage because the team doesn’t take a lot. With free-throws, it’s the exact opposite. The Cavs rank 13th in free-throw attempts. So they’re just chucking and missing.
The Cavs are also 23rd in assists and 26th in turnovers.
Love is someone who can improve all of these stats. He’s a great passer from the low-post and his cross-court connections with LeBron James back in the day were highlight-reel material. He can clearly advance the ball effectively in transition. He’s a career 83% free-throw shooter, so he’ll be able to up the team’s percentage there as well. Not to mention his ability to space the floor and shoot threes. So the team’s field goal percentage in and outside of the three-point arc should go up as well.
If Love and Larry Nance can come back healthy, and play out the rest of the first-half as a full unit, the team will finally be able to show what they are and what they can be. Part of the problem is acknowledging that Andre Drummon and Isaac Okoro, as good as they are defensively, are killing the Cavs offensively.
The Cavs will soon get back Love and hopefully, then, the team will be able to show what they are for the rest of the 2021 season.