The notion that by adding Kevin Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a big 3 of their own is ridiculous. It will be a big 2 and Kyrie Irving. We need to stop debating which of LeBron’s trios were better. It’s not even close his trio in Miami is a lot better.
I’m not taking shots at Kyrie Irving but he’s not an elite player yet. He has injury concerns, he’s not a leader and he’s only led the Cavs to 78 wins in three seasons. Kyrie is only 21 and should become a much better player. He’s not one of the top five point guards in the game and his game has not taken a big leap in terms of production.
He played in a career high 71 games this past season but his scoring average dipped a little bit. He hit a few more three points but his percentage went down. He is a 2x All-Star and he did win the MVP of the All-Star game. He is a talented kid but he should not be included in any big 3 talk.
People forget Dwyane Wade had an incredible 2009-10 season before LeBron went to South Beach. He averaged 26.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 6.5 apg, 1.1 bpg, 1.8 spg and a PER of 28.0. He was arguably the best shooting guard in the game (RELAX KOBE FANS). When LeBron joined the team, yea his numbers dipped a little bit but Wade was the one carrying LeBron in the 2011 NBA Finals. Wade averaged 26.5 ppg, 7 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.5 bpg, and 1.5 spg in that series.
Dwyane Wade was also a champion before LeBron James got there. People are comparing the D-Wade they saw in the 2014 NBA Finals with the young Kyrie Irving but don’t forget Wade was a superstar and Kyrie has yet to reach that level. Wade was a much better player than Kyrie is now when LeBron joined him in 2010 and it’s not even close.
I keep seeing this comparison chart of Kevin Love and Chris Bosh going around. They were both 25, averaged 20-10, their teams were 40-42 before joining LeBron. Those comparisons don’t matter either. They are different players and they will have to make different adjustments. Their roles will be completely different while playing with LeBron.
We all knew Bosh would be the 3rd option when he joined Miami. We knew his numbers would take a dip and we knew he would have to make the biggest adjustments. If you look at the scheme of the Miami Heat, that chaotic defense that forced turnovers, Bosh was pulled away from the basket. He was an excellent pick and roll defender and a better mid-range shooter than Love.
In Toronto Bosh played closer to the basket, his average distances on shots was 9.5 ft. In Miami that number jumped to 11.8. Bosh shot more jumpers and eventually moved out to the 3 point line. That was a big adjustment for him and Kevin Love won’t have that problem. Love’s average distance on shots is 11.5 ft. and he had a career high 14.3 ft. last season.
Love is already a long range shooter while Bosh is just adding that to his game. Love launched 505 three pointers last year while Bosh only has 520 three point attempts in his career. Love knocked down 190 threes last season while Bosh only hit 161 for his career.
Bosh’s usage rate dropped from 25.0 to about 23.2 with the Heat. Love will be the 2nd option so his usage rate will still be high. Dwyane Wade still kept a high usage rate while playing with LeBron. Bosh became a more efficient player while playing with LeBron and Wade. Kevin Love’s shooting numbers should go up since he will be playing with LeBron. He may take less shots but his 45% from the field should rise over time.
We don’t know what type of scheme the Cleveland Cavaliers will run so it’s hard to say whether or not Love’s rebounding numbers will take a big drop. He is still a good offensive rebounder although he takes a lot of three pointers.
Chris Bosh did lead his team to two playoff appearances but I give the slight edge to Kevin Love. He is the better offensive player, we will see if he can raise his defense.
The Miami Heat had a real big 3; they had experienced players coming together. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh were all coming off their 7th season in the league. Kevin Love will be entering his 7th season with no NBA big game experience and Kyrie Irving is entering his 4th with no big game experience of any kind.
The Cavaliers have a chance to be better than the Miami big 3 but right now there is no debate. The Miami Heat had the better trio when they formed and it’s by a large margin.