Love: Doing what's best for team

Kevin Love's inaugural season with the Cleveland Cavaliers has been a mixed bag for the power forward.

On one hand, with the Cavs qualifying for the playoffs last week, Love is set to play in the postseason for the first time in his seven-year career. On the other, he is averaging his fewest shot attempts per game (12.8) since his second year in the league and failed to make the All-Star team in a season he has been healthy for the first time since 2010.

Not only has Love's production dipped, but there have been times when he has been benched. Cleveland's 108-90 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday marked the fourth time this season that Love did not play in the fourth quarter of a game that was still in the balance after the first three quarters were finished.

"A lot of the times, if you look out on the floor when that's happened, it's been matchups," Love told ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" on Monday. "So whether it's been James Jones being out there or Tristan Thompson, us going big, us playing the 5 man, which happened [Sunday], and LeBron playing the 4 and guarding a guy like [Ersan] Ilyasova out there, it just changes the dynamic of the game, and we happened to be rolling at the end of the third quarter all the way into the fourth.

"So I think it's on me to try to do what's best for the team and always be a consummate professional throughout this entire process."

The Cavs went on a 26-5 run from late in the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter against the Bucks with starters Love, Timofey Mozgov and Kyrie Irving on the bench.

"We had it going, honestly," Cavs coach David Blatt said of the substitution decision. "It's no disrespect to any one of those guys. The game was going in the way we wanted it to go, and we just rode it and it worked out well. That's what teams should do."

The Cavs are 3-1 when Blatt has decided to sit Love in the fourth.

"Just knowing that it's for the greater good," Love said. "If we have a chance at the end of the year to hoist that Larry O'Brien Trophy, then it's all been worth it. I think there's been times this season, naturally, that I fought it, but then seeing the end result, it kind of changes everything. Had it been different, then maybe I would have felt some different kind of way. But knowing that my teammates have my back, Coach [Blatt] knows that I'm going to be a pro going out there every single night, and I'm just trying to find different ways to affect this team. That's what I've been trying to do."

The end of the season, whenever it comes for Cleveland, will bring about another big question for Love, who can opt out of his contract to test free agency. He will be in a position to assess everything -- his role with the Cavs, his connection to the city of Cleveland, his relationship with the players and coaches -- in making his decision about his future.

In an interview with "The Dan Patrick Show" on Monday, Love said, "I plan on being a Cavalier either way," when asked if Cleveland's postseason showing will factor in his decision-making process. Also in that interview, Love said he would vote for former UCLA teammate Russell Westbrook for MVP over LeBron James.

Perhaps the most important relationship Love will consider will be that of him and James, who is unequivocally the most important person in the Cavs franchise.

"It's fine," Love told "Mike & Mike" of his relationship with James. "You know, we're not best friends, we're not hanging out every day, but we see each other every day, whether at the practice facility, whether on the road or going to a game. I think our relationship is also evolving. I can say the same with each and every coach, Coach Blatt and each and every player on the team. But that's part of the NBA."

Love was asked about James posting an Instagram photo after the Milwaukee game with him and several teammates -- with Love absent from the shot -- and labeling the group his "clique."

"I'm sure that he's going to add me in the next picture. We'll see," Love said with a laugh.

After recently sitting out two games for rest, Love reported that his body feels good, and his spirits seem to be high with less than a month remaining in the regular season.

"I feel good, especially as long as we're winning," he said. "There has been times when it's been up and down. There's been better times, worse times, but at the end of the day we clinched a playoff spot a couple games ago and we're looking forward to April and the postseason. Especially myself, this being my seventh year and my first time headed into the postseason and just trying to help this team in any way that I can. But it's been a lot of fun being a part of this Cavs organization."