The 2019-20 season has been very difficult for Kevin Love. He has been tasked with being a veteran leader for a rebuilding squad while also constantly hearing his name circulated in trade rumors.
Love’s frustrations seemed to boil over during Cleveland’s loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. He came to the bench fuming during a timeout, ignoring the team huddle and slamming chairs on the Cavs bench:
Kevin Love does not look happy 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 1, 2020
By all accounts, Love is having yet another productive season. The five-time All-Star is averaging 16.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists through his first 28 games while shooting close to 45 percent from the floor and over 37 percent from beyond the arc.
However, Love is averaging just 12.0 shot attempts per game, a pretty small amount for a player that is supposed to be the No. 1 option for the Cavs.
Much of the frustration stems from Cleveland’s young backcourt. It is probably not a stretch that Collin Sexton and Darius Garland have exhibited poor shot selection, something that created visible frustration with Love back in early December (via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com):
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love had deep post position — and a clear advantage — against Philadelphia’s Tobias Harris. In front of the primary defender, with one foot inside the charge circle, Love threw his right arm out, calling for the ball. He was open.
As rookie point guard Darius Garland came around a Tristan Thompson screen, the 19-year-old had a passing alley available and an assist-in-waiting. Instead, Garland stopped at the right elbow and fired up a 17-foot fadeaway jumper that bounced off the rim and into the arms of James Ennis.
Dejected, Love shot a quick look at the youngster before he began sprinting to the other end, hoping to stop yet another 76ers transition attack. No need. Cedi Osman fouled Ben Simmons before the Sixers star could get downhill. Philadelphia then called timeout while four players — Garland, Osman, Thompson and Collin Sexton — walked over to the bench.
At this point, Love would probably welcome being traded to just about any team even on the fringes of playoff contention. Otherwise, there could be plenty more where this came from as the season progresses.