Kevin Love Says He Wants More Paint Touches
The Cleveland Cavaliers have themselves the most potent Big 3 in the NBA with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. The skill sets and abilities represented in this Big 3 are vast, and each has its own adjustment process to endure.
For Love, who came to Cleveland from the Minnesota Timberwolves, the adjustment is transitioning from being the centerpiece and focal point of the offense. He has much more talented teammates that can also score. One of Love’s first observations is where he is operating on the floor, and he told Northeast Ohio Media Group that he needs to get more looks inside, via Chris Haynes of The Plain Dealer:
My entire life I’ve played the game from inside-out. So the more touches I can get inside to get myself going, the better. I’m not accustomed to starting out a game shooting a three, so it’s just something that I see.
I’m 26-years-old and I’ve been playing basketball for quite a long time. Just finding ways to mix it up. If anything, keeping it around the basket a little bit more and the offense will allow me to get offensive rebounds. That will be tough for teams with Andy [Varejao] and myself and Tristan [Thompson] in there.
Love doesn’t want to stray away from his around-the-basket repertoire, an important part of his production. Reducing Love to a stretch big in the system might be a little too easy because he is such a lethal shooting threat, especially considering David Blatt’s system, but Love is also an innate scorer. He deserves the ball where he wants it, and that’s where he’ll get it:
Yeah, the offense is built that way but I just have to make a conscious decision to get myself in there. There are a lot of times where I just find myself fading to the three-point line. For me, it’s a mentality and that’s easy to fix.
We’ve been putting in stuff like different pin-downs, cut-across and cross-screens to get me open in there. You’ll see a lot more of that during the season. That’s always how I played and I know that coach wants me to play that way, as well.
That “mentality” to just drift on the perimeter takes away from Love’s complete game, and so expect David Blatt to appease one of his best player’s wishes from a geometrical standpoint.
This is one of the initial adjustments that Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh claimed Love should be worried about in playing with LeBron and his new crew in The Land. We’ll continue to see how the Cavaliers adjust to each other and their new surroundings.