David Blatt: Kevin Love deserves to be named an All-Star
While the vote isn’t headed in that direction at the moment, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt nevertheless believes Kevin Love’s play this season merits an All-Star nod.
“I just think he’s played All-Star basketball since the beginning of the year,” Blatt said, via Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “He’s averaging a double-double, he’s been on point since Day One and he’s played both ends of the court for us. He’s played high-level basketball. As I see it, there’s not even a second thought as to why he’s an All-Star up to this point.”
Love is indeed averaging a double-double this season, putting up 16.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. But his statistical output in 35 games — from points and rebounds to shooting percentage from the field and three-point range — are all down when compared to last season.
But countering the subtle drop in productivity is the fact that Love is one of the primary offensive options on a team that has stormed out to an Eastern Conference-best 26-9. LeBron James has mentioned on multiple occasions that Love would be the “main focus” of the Cavaliers offense and would return to All-Star status, although James still ranks first on the team in average field goal attempts per game (25.8) to Love’s second place on the squad (16.3).
Love, who experienced an up-and-down start to his career with the Cavaliers last season, feels more comfortable now and indicated that’s more important than being named an All-Star.
“Last year we were the fifth seed at the break,” Love said when asked about his chances of being named to the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. “If we can maintain the No. 1 seed I think things like that can happen, but right now I’m not even focused on that. I’m just happy to be in a little better rhythm and I just want to continue to keep playing better.”
The latest results in All-Star voting has Love landing in seventh place among frontcourt players. Suffice to say, with less than a week remaining in the fan portion of voting, Love faces an uphill battle at landing among the players selected, barring being named by the Eastern Conference coaches.