Will this season in Cleveland be the one that Kevin Love returns to form as the unstoppable offensive threat we saw him in Minnesota? With Kyrie Irving traded to the Celtics, and the status of newly acquired Isaiah Thomas uncertain to start the season, Love should have plenty of newfound opportunities. Cavaliers coach Ty Lue thinks he can take advantage of them.
"Kevin is going to have the best year that he's had here," Lue told ESPN.com in an interview this week. "I thought he was great anyway."
Love will have to sacrifice less and give more on offense -- an area he's thrived before during his playing days with the Timberwolves. His offense will be that much more vital with the Cavs' second-leading scorer from a season ago now playing for the revamped Celtics.
Unlike previous years where Cleveland has used Love as a third option behind LeBron James and Irving, the big man's talents will be in high demand. It's not that they haven't always been, though. Opportunity, as Lue said, simply hasn't been there for Love since he's been in Cleveland.
"If you are on a championship-caliber team, you have to sacrifice," Lue said. "But this year is going to be a big opportunity for him. We're going to play through him more. He's going to get those elbow touches again."
Love averaged 16.4 and 16.0 points per game in his first two seasons with the Cavs before he took a step forward last season with a 19.0 points per game average. His efficiency across the board increased, too, as he shot a better field-goal percentage and better mark from the 3-point line than a season ago.