Take a look at the clip below. Frankly, it’s so ridiculous I can’t come up with a cleverer way of introducing it.
What you’re seeing is the past few days summarized in six seconds. The Cleveland Cavaliers are an all-out mess, and Kevin Love is essentially getting blamed for it by his own teammates. For reasons which are mind-numbingly obvious, Cleveland scapegoating Love is so off-base it’s embarrassing.
There isn’t enough time in the day to effectively summarize how terrible the Cavs are right now. Since January 3, the only team they’ve been able to beat is the woeful Orlando Magic, and even those two wins were inexplicably dramatic. There’s zero effort on defense, players are sniping at each other in the locker room and, lately, the team is lucky if it only loses by single digits.
To me, it sure sounds like this is more than just one problem with an individual player. However, the players apparently disagree, as was indicated in the fallout from Monday’s fiery team meeting.
Reports say Love was called out for leaving Saturday’s bludgeoning at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder because of an illness. Though he apparently cleared the air before the meeting ended, the above clip doesn’t do much to convince us the team is on good terms with him.
Why is Love being forced to defend himself for not being able to play through a migraine? Why is Love, who just earned his second All-Star nod in Cleveland, being called out for this team’s unwatchable play? Why is Love, who is almost averaging a double-double this season, constantly getting blamed whenever the going gets tough for the Cavs?
All Love has done since arriving in Cleveland is shut up and play. He was called out for not fitting in during his first season, his name popping up in trade rumors is an annual tradition and now his being unable to play through an illness is the reason the Cavs can’t function as a team.
Heck, not only was Love called out during the players’ meeting, he was the only one who had to address the session with the media while the rest of the players deflected any questions about it.
Of all the reasons why this team is struggling, I’d have thought the All-Star forward would be a lot lower on the list.
What should be higher? Well, I have a few thoughts off the top of my head.
How about Isaiah Thomas, who reportedly was responsible for calling out Love as an issue, despite his penchant for taking a billion shots a night throwing off the entire offense? Or J.R. Smith, who’s been putrid for 99.9% of the season? The Cavs play infinitely better when Tristan Thompson doesn’t get significant minutes, why wasn’t he called out? Or Derrick Rose, who literally took a vacation and flirted with quitting on the team just a month into the season?
And since when is Jae Crowder in a place where he feels as though he can publicly snub Love on the court? He’s been a gigantic bust for most of the season, has brought nothing to the table defensively and it’s considered a huge accomplishment if he can net double-digit points more than once a week.
As you can see, it’s stunning that some with the Cavs feel as though Love is worth calling out. In a locker room full of players who are under-performing and causing a strain on this team, there are bigger concerns than someone who’s averaging 18.4 points per game and is heading to his second straight All-Star game.
Apparently, this thought is not shared with the Cavs, which only further highlights how dismal things have gotten for this team. Despite new faces in the locker room, the theme remains the same – when the going gets tough, blame Kevin Love.