Kevin Love: 'Trying to find myself'

ByDave McMenamin ESPN logo
Friday, November 21, 2014

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Kevin Love spoke up about his role in the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense after a 92-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night dropped the team's record to a pedestrian 5-5, but coach David Blatt downplayed the merit of his star forward's concerns.

"We run specific stuff for Kevin and for other guys," Blatt said after practice Thursday. "You know, earlier in the season when he was scoring the ball better, it was the same offense. So I'm not sure that it's as much related to that as just the game flow and situational things.

"But we want to help Kev. He needs to be involved and he needs to involve himself, and it's our job to help him."

After scoring 16 or more points in five of the Cavs' first six games, Love has failed to score more than 13 in three of their last four games.

"It's come to a point where I'm just trying to find myself in this offense," Love said after scoring a season-low 10 points against the Spurs and attempting just one shot in the fourth quarter. "It's almost related to when you come into the league; usually the guys that dominate the ball so much tend to learn a lot quicker than a guy like myself, a big man. So I'm just trying to find different spots in the offense.

"I'll just say we're 10 games in, we're looking at different stuff. I need to find myself. I think everybody knew coming in that we'd have to sacrifice, but at some point we're going to need some low-post scoring and some outside shooting."

Love has shot 33 of his 131 field goal attempts this season from 0-5 feet from the rim and has launched 62 of his attempts from 20-29 feet away, according to In other words, the vast majority of Love's looks on offense are coming from the two areas on the court that he said the team would need.

"Basically, in today's game, that's exactly what you want," Blatt said of Love's mix of inside and outside opportunities. "So from that standpoint, I think we're OK."

Love's scoring average has dropped nearly 10 points per game, from 26.1 to 16.7, since last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves when he was the team's unequivocal No. 1 option. His field goal attempts per game have taken a major dip, from 18.5 to 13.1.

Blatt thinks Love's shot attempts will go up as the team picks up the pace on offense while also cutting down on turnovers and creating more scoring opportunities through its defense.

"I think if we'll get more shots as a team that will help him increase the volume also," Blatt said.

Love can help himself by making more of the shots he does take. His shooting percentage has plummeted from 45.7 percent last season to 38.9 percent through the Cavs' first 10 games, and his 3-point percentage has suffered slightly, falling from 37.6 to 35.7 percent.

Blatt said that Love's comments about his place in the offense did not bother him.

"Not really. No," Blatt said. "First of all, we're dealing with human beings and you're dealing after each and every game with emotions. People are full of adrenaline or are excited or are, as I said, emotional. I really don't pay too, too much attention [to players' comments to the media]. When I talk to guys face-to-face, that's really what's important to me."

The Cavs go on the road to play the Washington Wizards on Friday (ESPN, 8 p.m.).

"Based on today's practice -- which was focused and short and good -- we're OK," Blatt said. "But the last two losses, as is wont to do, took a little bit out of us, and I'm just anxious to get back on track."

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