Kevin Love
Kevin Love (number zero) had his first real run at center Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty)

Cleveland Cavaliers’ center Kevin Love is still trying to get comfortable in his new position. Head coach Tyronn Lue supplanted last year’s center, Tristan Thompson, with Love to try and improve spacing. According to Chris Fedor of there are a few growing pains for Love, particularly when guarding the opposing team’s center.

“It’s been a little bit of a change for me,” Love says. “I still find myself spacing a little bit wanting to roll a little bit more and on the defensive end just playing the primary big on their team the whole time on the defensive end. It’s been a little bit different figuring things out on that end, but it comes with the growth I’m talking about.”

With Thompson out of the starting lineup, Kevin Love is the last line of defense to the rim. He is a weaker rim protector compared to Thompson, so the adjustments on the defensive end will take time. However, the offensive side is where Love has an advantage over most other centers. Lue says his shooting and quickness are two key advantages.

“It’s going to be tough for fives to move around with him (Love),” Lue said recently. “When we run pick-and-rolls, they can’t really get out and show. He’s going to have a lot of open shots and we know Kevin, he can make shots.” Lue also acknowledges that Love was initially overwhelmed by the change of position. “He was frustrated at first, but now he’s enjoying it.”

Love and Thompson did not share the court in Tuesday’s season opening win over the Boston Celtics. The Cavaliers may have to play bigger at times, meaning the two big men will likely have to share the court.


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