When the Miami Heat were in Brazil to play the Cleveland Cavaliers in early October, Chris Bosh made some minor waves when he talked about how hard it was to sacrifice his game during the LeBron James era.
In an interview with Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report, Bosh said star players don’t realise what it’s like to have to take fewer shots and not get the ball exactly when and where you want.
He said Kevin Love would go through the same process in Cleveland, and it would be “extremely difficult and extremely frustrating.”
On Wednesday night Love offered a glimpse into this transition process, and his quotes seem to back up a lot of what Bosh was saying.
Love told Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group that he isn’t used to playing on the perimeter as much as he is this preseason, and he wants to get down into the post more, even though the Cavs offence calls for him to play outside.
Love told NEOMG:
“My entire life I 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 offence will allow me to get offensive rebounds. That will be tough for teams with Andy [Varejao] and myself and Tristan [Thompson] in there.”
In Minnesota Love was the focal point of the offence. He could get the ball wherever he wanted and go to work.
In Cleveland, LeBron is the focal point of the offence and Kyrie Irving is the primary ball handler. It makes sense that new coach David Blatt is using him to space the floor and serve as a three-point shooter when LeBron and Irving break down the offence, but it’s a very different role for Love.
Here’s the critical passage from the NEOMG story:
“His long-ball threat is a valuable weapon; the reason head coach David Blatt is utilising him in that fashion. Love says the offence calls for him to be out on the perimeter, but he says he has to make sure he remembers to go inside more.
“‘Yeah, the offence is built that way, but I just have to make a conscious decision to get myself in there,’ Love said. ‘There are a lot of times where I just find myself fading to the 3-point line. For me, it’s a mentality and that’s easy to fix.'”
That, “Yeah the offence is built that way, but…” is telling. Love is so good that he’ll get his points in any system. But it’s certainly going to be an adjustment from what he was doing in Minnesota.
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