The Miami Heat, like all other teams, would most certainly prefer to avoid the uncertainty that comes with dropping into the play-in tournament. Thus, they will need every crucial rotation piece so they could, perhaps, go on a run and catch the Brooklyn Nets for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. And it seems like apart from Kyle Lowry, the Heat will have the services of every necessary piece, including major buyout addition Kevin Love.

The Heat have designated Love as probable to play for their Friday night contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of their Wednesday night battle. Love apparently has been going through a bit of an injury to his rib – a contusion – but it seems like it won’t be enough to keep him out of action.

Kevin Love has started in all seven games he’s played for the Heat since signing with them after securing a buyout from the Cavs. Love did not play in his final nine games as an active member of the Cavs roster, encouraging him to find another home in hopes of securing a larger role.

Even though Love is a starter, he has not quite played heavy minutes for the Heat. Miami has reduced him to a 18 to 25 minute role, relying instead on Caleb Martin, their starter for much of the season, to close out games given his ability to defend the perimeter at a much better level than the 34-year old Love.

Kevin Love, quite simply, has fallen off; his shooting from three-point line, in particular, has cratered, and he has never been particularly adept at the defensive end of the floor. Through seven games with the Heat, Love has shot just 24 percent from beyond the arc. In fact, he’s shooting below 40 percent on the season, at a less-than-stellar 39 percent.

Seeing Love suffer this sudden drop-off is a bit jarring; he finished the 2021-22 campaign as one of the contenders for the Sixth Man of the Year alongside his now-teammate Tyler Herro, who won the acclaim. Nevertheless, his rebounding and reputation as a floor spacer should still be of help to a Heat team in need of frontcourt depth. Evan Mobley and Love should tussle once more in a battle of the future and past.