Following an impressive start to the 2022-23 season, Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love recently offered a bold statement about the strong chemistry the team already possesses.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com looked at the Cavaliers’ 7-1 start to the season and offered Love’s insight into why the team has begun the season so well.
“We have a rare level of togetherness,” Love told Cleveland.com. “No team is more together than we are. We thrive off that and that’s become part of our identity and part of our culture. I don’t feel like anybody in this locker room is up in arms about the next guy getting minutes, getting more shots, getting this or getting that. We all work to earn what we get and what we have. There’s a lot of love and respect in this room. A sense of professionalism here as well.”
The most recent addition to the win column for the Cavaliers came on Friday night, when they routed the Detroit Pistons in a 112-88 victory. The Cavs took control of the contest during the second quarter and maintained a comfortable lead for the remainder of the contest.
One of the more impressive aspects of the Cavs’ win over the rebuilding Pistons is that it was accomplished without the services of guards Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland. Both suffered injuries in the Cavaliers’ overtime win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Mitchell’s and Garland’s injuries aren’t considered serious. Garland returned to the court in that matchup against the Celtics after sitting out many games because of an eye injury suffered in the team’s season opener on Oct. 19.
New Role for Love
The ability of the Cavaliers to persevere through those absences helps explain why Love is so enthusiastic about the team. The 34-year-old veteran is in the final year of his four-year contract and being used as an asset off the bench.
In his 23 minutes against the Pistons, Love managed to collect a double-double with 21 points and 10 assists, while also adding a blocked shot. He connected on 7-of-10 of his shots from the field and went 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
For Love, this could be his final season with the Cavaliers. The Cavs may seek to re-sign him after the season, though surely at a price nowhere close to the four-year, $120 million deal he’s completing.
During his time with the Cavaliers, Love has seen the best and worst that the game can offer. During each of Love’s first four seasons with the team, the Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals, capturing the 2016 NBA title.
However, following the departure of LeBron James, the team began a rebuilding era, and Love battled a series of injuries. During that period, Love became a prominent advocate for mental health awareness after dealing with a variety of personal issues.
Next up for the Cavaliers is a Sunday afternoon road matchup against James and the Los Angeles Lakers.