Cleveland Cavaliers icon Mark Price offered a succinct answer on social media to the idea that former Cavs forward Kevin Love could have been an asset for the team during the postseason.
— Mark Price (@Mark25Price) April 23, 2023
Price, who spent nine seasons with the Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995, was one of the central components of the franchise’s postseason success during his tenure. That took place during the latter half of his time with the team, though the presence of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls stopped the Cavs from enjoying more success.
Earlier this season, Love was in the final year of a lucrative four-year deal with the Cavaliers. In recent years, he had become a player that was largely used off the bench. Starting only three of his 41 games with the Cavs this season, Love averaged 8.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game before he was bought out.
Those numbers were down considerably from his peak seasons. He averaged a double-double (or close to it) for a good portion of his prime.
Besides the veteran leadership that Love might have offered the team, his past postseason experience with the Cavaliers surely would have served as an asset.
This season marks the first time since 2018 that the Cavaliers are competing in the NBA Playoffs, though they reached the play-in tournament last season.
Love was a part of the Cavs during their greatest stretch in franchise history, when they reached the NBA Finals in four consecutive seasons from 2015 to 2018.
During the 2016 season, Love and the Cavaliers made a historic comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to defeat the Golden State Warriors in seven games. In the closing minute of that final contest, Love’s defense against Warriors guard Stephen Curry played a key role in securing the win.
Over the course of his career, Love has also been a big man who can connect from beyond the arc. The five-time All-Star has shot 37.0 percent from 3-point range during his time in the NBA.
Exactly how Love would have been able to help the Cavaliers remains unclear, given Price’s brief response. However, it’s a moot point, considering that after Love’s buyout, he signed with the Miami Heat.
The Cavaliers will try to avoid elimination in a must-win situation at home on Wednesday night. That Game 5 matchup of the team’s series against the New York Knicks might require a stirring comeback, though it remains uncertain whether the Cavs will be able to get it done.