The 2017 NBA Finals get going Thursday evening with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1. It should be a fun series. Some folks will complain about a third straight season of Dubs and Cavs, but considering they are clearly the two best teams in the league and they split the last two finals, it seems fitting to have them square off for a third time. I’m looking forward to it.
Speaking of the Cavaliers, I came across a great statistic today. Kevin Love has developed a thing for impressive outlet passes, and this past season, he had 17 passes that were at least 20 yards in distance. It turns out, that number exceeded five NFL teams in terms of 20-yard passes this past season. It is worth noting, this is passes that traveled 20 yards in the air, not passes thrown short of 20 yards and then the receiver ran past the 20 yards.
The San Francisco 49ers were one of those teams.
FiveThirtyEight noted that he had five turnovers on those throws during the course of the regular season. The 49ers had ten interceptions on the season, although I’m not sure how many came on those passes of 20+ air yards. The 49ers quarterbacks played a safer game last season, and that has been the mantra of the team dating back to the Harbaugh days. Avoid turnovers.
Given the volume of throws by Love, I’ll say it’s a positive that he only had five turnovers on the throws. Considering the 49ers were 2-14, maybe it would resulted in some intriguing possibilities. At the very least, it would be interesting seeing a 6’10 quarterback.