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2019-20 Preseason Profile: Kevin Love

Five-Time All-Star Looks to Bounce Back After Injury-Plagued Season
by Joe Gabriele
Cavs.com Beat Writer

2019-20 Preseason Profile:
Kevin Love

Five-Time All-Star Looks to Bounce Back After Injury-Plagued Season


Last season was frustrating for several Cavaliers, but maybe none more than Kevin Love.

The lone remaining member of the Big Three that led the Wine & Gold to their first NBA title in franchise history, Love signed a contract extension heading into the season as the Cavaliers hoped to remain competitive after LeBron James' free agent departure.

The five-time All-Star got off to a stellar start – averaging 19.0 points and 13.5 boards through the first four games of the season. Unfortunately, that’s where his campaign would hit a major speed bump – a toe injury that required surgery and proceeded to sideline the former Bruin for the next 51 games.

Love returned to the lineup on February 8 and looked like his former self for most of the remainder of the year.

There’s little argument that Love has Hall of Fame-level bona fides, especially now that he owns Championship jewelry. Late last season, he joined just seven other players in league history – Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, LeBron James, Rasheed Wallace and Antawn Jamison – who’ve accumulated at least 12,000 points, 7,000 boards and 1,000 three-pointers for a career.

In terms of historic numbers, Love has (by far) the most career games of at least 25 points, 15 boards and three three-pointers made – posting 27 such outings. (The next-closest player, Karl-Anthony Towns, has 11.) And only Dwight Howard (501) has put up more double-doubles over the past ten years than Love (413).

Love comes into the season as the only Cavalier born in the 1980s – the elder statesman of the squad at the ripe old age of 31. He was looking forward to taking a leadership role with the young squad, but the toe injury precluded him from working with Cleveland’s youngsters on a day-to-day basis through the season’s first half.

Over the summer, Love and his longtime girlfriend traveled the globe, and now he’ll ready himself for his 12th NBA season. If he’s healthy, the Wine & Gold can remain competitive in the up-for-grabs Eastern Conference. If he struggles to stay in the lineup, the Cavaliers’ youth movement will be accelerated.


Kevin Love doubled-up in 10 of the 22 contests he suited up for last season.
Photo: David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty Images


LOOKING BACK -- Love was only able to suit up for 22 contests. But he was very good in the games that he did.

In limited action, Love averaged a double-double – the seventh time in his career that he’s done so. He topped the 20-point mark in his first two games last year and grabbed double-digit boards in three of his first four.

And it didn’t take him long to rediscover his rhythm when he returned. Not long after returning to the lineup before the All-Star Break, Love bounced back with three straight double-doubles – including a 32-point, 12-rebound outburst in a home win over the Grizzlies.

Love would top the 20-point mark five more times before season’s end, doubling-up in nine of his final 16 appearances.

With the season wrapping up, Love was essentially shut down for five of the club’s final six contests – making a rare bench appearance in the campaign’s second-last game, giving his close friend Channing Frye the start before his pending retirement.


BY THE NUMBERS: 1 … number of players in NBA history to average at least 10.0 rebounds per game while sinking at least 1,000 three-pointers – Kevin Wesley Love.

Love has drilled 1,077 career triples and boasts an 11.3 rebounding average. He’s averaged double-digit boards in seven of his 11 seasons as a pro and has canned at least 100 threes in six of them.


LOOKING AHEAD -- The big question heading into the 2019-20 campaign for Kevin Love will be how he fits in with a franchise in flux. A young roster, mixed with a new coaching staff and system, will be an adjustment for the veteran forward.

Coach Beilein loves shooters, and Love is still one of the best in the business at his position. His veteran leadership when he returned to the lineup last year helped the squad’s young guns – and there will be more greenhorns to work with this season.

Love has had a spectacular career and is still near the top of his game. When he’s played, he’s been excellent. How he adjusts to Cleveland’s youth movement will be paramount as he and the team move forward.


Kevin Love's Season Mixtape

Kevin Love, the savvy 12-year veteran, was consistent as ever last season for the Wine & Gold with both his scoring and rebounding. Here is his season in review!

Love Player Preview Playlist

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Kevin Love's Season Mixtape

Kevin Love, the savvy 12-year veteran, was consistent as ever last season for the Wine & Gold with both his scoring and rebounding. Here is his season in review!
Aug 12, 2020  |  00:57

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

On December 12th, 2019 the Wine & Gold went into San Antonio and got the OT win thanks in part to a big game- and big shot- from Kevin Love.
Aug 11, 2020  |  01:08

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

Collin Sexton punctuated the Cavaliers second home game with an emphatic poster dunk in a 117-111 win on October 30.
Jul 30, 2020  |  00:58

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

A double-double from Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson led the Cavs to a 113-100 road win against the Washington Wizards in early November.
Jul 28, 2020  |  01:04

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

Six Cavaliers score in double-figures led by Collin Sexton's 25, Kevin Love's 19, and Cedi Osman's double-double as Cleveland tops the Nuggets in Denver in early January.
Jul 21, 2020  |  01:00

Wine & Gold Winners Powered by ENGIE

The Wine & Gold defeated the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on November 10th, 2019, behind a 31-point performance by Collin Sexton.
Jun 30, 2020  |  01:42

Conference Call with Kevin Love

The Cavs forward met with the media today to discuss various topics, from on the court to off of it.
Jun 12, 2020  |  39:47

A Special Message from the Cavaliers

The common thread, through ANY challenge we face, is our UNITY. View a special message from the Cavaliers organization. We can’t wait to be back together again!
May 14, 2020  |  00:58

Kevin Love’s Message to Fans

Kevin Love reminds everyone to practice compassion and empathy during this time of difficulty.
Mar 24, 2020  |  02:40

GAME RECAP: Bulls 108, Cavaliers 103

Coby White scores 20 points, Wendell Carter Jr. adds 17 with 6 rebounds as the Bulls win it, 108-103.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:01

Delly's Great Dime to KLove

Kevin Love sets a pick for Matthew Dellavedova and rolls to the hoop as Delly finds Love with a great bounce pass that leads to a Love basket.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:09

Sexton's Steal and Assist Leads to Love's And-One

Collin Sexton gets the steal on the defensive end, goes up the floor and dishes to Kevin Love who finishes through contact at the rim to get an and-one opportunity.
Mar 10, 2020  |  00:27

Cavs at Bulls Shootaround: Kevin Love

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media following Tuesday’s shootaround in Chicago as the Wine & Gold prep for the Chicago Bulls.
Mar 10, 2020  |  09:45

Top 5 powered by ENGIE

Check out the Top 5 of the twentieth week of the campaign from the Wine & Gold powered by ENGIE.
Mar 10, 2020  |  01:44

Cavs vs. Spurs Postgame: Kevin Love

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media following Sunday’s 132-129 OT win over the San Antonio Spurs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 8, 2020  |  04:58

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 132, Spurs 129

Andre Drummond leads with 28 points and grabs 17 boards for Cleveland to win a nail biter home game against San Antonio, 132-129
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:01

Love's Three Give Cavs OT Lead

Matthew Dellavedova hits Kevin Love in the corner, as Love knocks down the clutch three ball in overtime.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:14

GAME RECAP: Cavaliers 104, Nuggets 102

Kevin Love scores 27 points and 6 rebounds Saturday night as Cleveland beat Denver, 104-102.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:01

Highlights: Kevin Love | Cavaliers vs. Nuggets

Kevin Love scores 27 points and 6 rebounds on Saturday versus Denver.
Mar 8, 2020  |  00:01

Cavs vs. Nuggets On-Court Postgame: Kevin Love & Tristan Thompson

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and center Tristan Thompson spoke with FOX Sports Ohio’s Angel Gray following Saturday’s 104-102 win over the Denver Nuggets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 7, 2020  |  02:49

Love, Dellavedova with a Big Time Jumpers

Matthew Dellavedova and Kevin Love both hit clutch shots in the fourth quarter to give the Cavs the lead.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:37

Love and Delly Connect on the Give-and-Go

Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova connect on a give and go that ends in a Dellavedova lay-up.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:10

Love's Outlet Pass to Thompson

After a missed Denver shot, Kevin Love grabs the rebound and sends an outlet pass down the floor to a streaking Tristan Thompson for a dunk with just seconds left in the first half.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:10

Love Fires and Hits a Deep Three

Late in the shot clock, Kevin Love nails a three pointer from way outside early in the first quarter.
Mar 7, 2020  |  00:08

GAME RECAP: Celtics 112, Cavaliers 106

Jayson Tatum scores 32 points and 9 rebounds Wednesday night as Boston beat Cleveland, 112-106.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:01

Love's Clutch And-One Opportunity

Kevin Love makes a jumper while getting fouled to earn a trip to the line for a three point play opportunity, where he converts the free throw.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:09

Love's Dime to Collin Sexton

Kevin Love bounces a pass in stride to Collin Sexton who converts the lay-up in the paint.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:17

KLove Nails Three From Way Outside

Kevin Love cans a three ball from well beyond the arc in the second quarter against Boston.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:09

Highlights: Kevin Love | Cavaliers vs. Celtics

Kevin Love scores 26 points and 14 rebound Wednesday night versus Boston.
Mar 4, 2020  |  00:01

Cavs vs Jazz Postgame: Kevin Love

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love spoke with the media following Monday’s loss to the Utah Jazz at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Mar 2, 2020  |  04:10
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