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The bottom line has shown Kevin Love’s value to the Cleveland Cavaliers since his return four games ago after missing 21 because of a broken left hand, going 4-0 and averaging a ridiculous NBA-best 124.3 points in that span.
And while the Cavaliers (44-29), who will attempt to snap a 13-game losing streak in Miami tonight at American Airlines Arena, have won all four games since Love — more on him in a moment — has returned, the effect he’s had on LeBron James is downright historic.
Consider, according to Micah Adams of ESPN Stats & Info, James has played 357 weeks in his spectacular 15-season NBA career.
Where does James’ performance last week, with Love back on the floor as his wingman, rank in his career?
No. 1… as in, best. Ever.
James scored or assisted on 63.3 points per game since Love came back, the highest-number he’s ever produced in a single week’s worth of games over his career.
In the week, for which James was named NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for a record 61st time, James averaged 34.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 11.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 36.6 minutes, shooting a blistering 62.7 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line. By the way, Cleveland’s principle ballhandler also averaged only 3.0 turnovers a game.
Love. on the other hand, has also flourished individually since his return.
Over the four-game span, he’s averaging 20.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 29.0 minutes per game, shooting 45.6 percent from the field, including 48.1 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, and 94.1 percent from the free-throw line. His 3.5 assists are just short of double what his average (1.8) was before he broke his hand in Detroit.
James’ plus-minus rating over the four-game stretch that earned him Player of the Week honors — plus-38.
Love’s plus-minus rating over the same span — plus-42.