Doc Rivers praises Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson for staying focused with Cavs
LOS ANGELES – The Cleveland Cavaliers are in the rebuilding stages of their franchise, recovering from the loss of LeBron James a few years ago. Doc Rivers and his Los Angeles Clippers saw the Cavs on Tuesday night for the first time this season, and the Clippers coach commended the veterans for sticking with the organization.
Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, the last two remaining members of the 2016 Cavs title team, have been professionals (for the most part) this season. The Cavs now have the fourth-worst record in the league at 12-29 after a 128-103 loss on Tuesday night, and the franchise is on pace for a second consecutive season in the NBA Draft lottery.
Rivers believes the fact that both Cavs veterans have been professionals throughout the process should be talked about more.
“You think about him and Kevin Love, they could’ve approached the season in such a different way,” said Rivers. “They’re in a rebuilding year. New coach, new everything, you gotta give those guys a lot of credit.”
Earlier this season, however, Love did reportedly have an outburst on the Cavs’ bench that landed him a $1,000 fine from the team. Later, there were reports that Love was upset about the way he found out about the fine and frustratingly approached front-office members to discuss it.
“In a league where at times, a lot of guys are complaining and wanting to leave,” added Rivers. “I’m sure they would love to go to a championship team, [but maybe not]. They’ve been pros and it’s really nice. It’s really nice to see.”
Appearing in 34 games this season, Love is averaging 17.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.7 3-pointers per game on 45.5 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Thompson has appeared in 39 games this season, averaging 12.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and a block per game on 51.2 percent shooting from the field.