The Cavaliers have won 11 straight, but not everything is rosy in Cleveland.
Kevin Love is shooting just 37 percent overall and 29 percent on 3-pointers during the streak.
In the Cavaliers’ 97-84 win over the 76ers yesterday, Love shot 1-of-7 and didn’t attempt a shot after the first quarter. He still grabbed 15 rebounds and was a team-best +26, but he’s a capable scorer.
What’s wrong? LeBron James has a theory.
LeBron James suggested there were more shots available for Love that he turned down and questioned whether his teammate’s confidence might be shaken.
“I think Kev had some shots that he passed up on,” James said. “Maybe he felt that he just wasn’t in a good rhythm, but I know I hit him with a few [potential] shots after the first quarter where he had some good looks when he decided to swing-swing [with a pass], which is OK, it kept the ball moving. So, I think for Kev, I think his confidence maybe shooting the ball is a little down, but for me as a player, I get him good looks. I want him to shoot the ball and he needs to shoot it with confidence.”
Love didn’t totally agree with James’ assessment.
“Maybe one look, but it was more so on a swing-swing to [Matthew Dellavedova],” Love said. “I think a guy was closing out on me and I hit Delly and Delly didn’t end up shooting it. But, no, I think I had some good looks in the first quarter — a couple tip-ins that I missed; [Timofey Mozgov] and I both went for the lob, I thought I had my hand on it, and missed that one. But, you know, getting good looks there. Not for lack of confidence, no.”
This is where Cleveland’s win streak really helps. If the Cavaliers were slumping, there’d be more concern about LeBron’s relationship with Love, whether publicly questioning Love’s confidence offended Love. But because they’re winning, everyone is in a good mood, and I doubt this becomes an issue.
That frees LeBron and Love to focus on other things – like how to get Love going offensively.