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Will The Cavaliers’ “Big 3” Be Voted Into The All-Star Game?
- Updated: January 14, 2017
The Cleveland Cavaliers are in year three of the second coming of LeBron James. With the roster having standouts such as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, is there a chance that the Cavaliers’ “Big 3” will be voted into the All-Star Game?
After the Cavaliers won their first-ever NBA championship last season, many wondered if they could replicate that historic season.
What we as fans didn’t expect is that the Cavs would come out of the offseason playing excellent basketball. It looks as though they are very comfortable in their well-defined roles. It seems that a championship can bring a team together like no other force.
The growth of Kevin Love
Since Kevin Love was traded to the Cavs, media members and fans alike were critical of his fit. Media members felt that Love wasn’t a “good fit” with the roster and came up with countless trade ideas they felt would bolster the current roster.
But when this season began, we saw a player in Kevin Love that had taken his future into his own hands in the offseason and put on some muscle to allow him to bang with the bigs at or near the basket.
Well, needless to say, Love was indeed successful in attaining the desired effect. Not only has Love increased both his scoring and rebounding this season, he has brought back the Minnesota Kevin Love that excelled at playing near the basket — and with great success.
As we stand now, Love is one of five frontcourt players averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the entire NBA. Last season, Love averaged 16 points and 9.9 rebounds. This season, after 39 games, Love has averaged 21.2 points and 11 rebounds. He is the only frontcourt player in the Eastern Conference to average a 20/10.
This puts Love among elite players and he no doubt deserves to be an All-Star this season.
But Kevin Love is not the only Cavalier to take steps forward this season.
The growth of Kyrie Irving
Point guard Kyrie Irving is enjoying his highest points per game average at 23.8. Irving has also taken on more of a leadership role, playing aggressively and taking the responsibility for facilitating. He has grown into a player that can decide just what the team needs in a split-second. “Uncle Drew” (as he is lovingly known as) can either drive to the basket and score or attract defenders and dish out assists.
He has more double-doubles (six) than all of last season (one). His assist average per game has risen from 4.7 last season to 5.7 this season. He has accumulated double-digit assist totals in 5 of his last 12 games, exhibiting a growth… an affinity towards becoming a true point guard.
It has to be clear that both players are exhibiting growth. And after winning a championship, when two of their top three players are growing in their roles, it bodes well for the reigning champs that it will be sending its “Big 3” to the All-Star game.
This game is just a small diversion and yet an honorable feat for the Cavs in their quest for a repeat — a third straight NBA Finals appearance, and hopefully a second straight NBA Championship.
It is true how a championship can create bonds between players that last a lifetime. It is also evident that the experience of winning that championship in a historic fashion — coming back from being down 3-1 — has motivated the leaders of this team to do special things. They have taken a page from LeBron James’ motivational book, and are now “striving for greatness.”
The NBA All-Star Game is being held in New Orleans this year. The game will be played on February 19, 2017. All-Star voting ends January 16.
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