LeBron James has high hopes for Kevin Love in their upcoming matchup against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals 2017. “The King” wants to see the mentality that made Love the star player of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“We want the mentality of Kevin from Minnesota, but his usage rate doesn’t have to be as high as Minnesota,” James said. “Obviously we all know that he was a featured guy pretty much every possession going down the floor, and here that’s changed a little bit because we have other guys. But his mentality needs to stay the same as Minnesota, and I think as he continues to get even more comfortable and comfortable — tonight was one of those instances where every time he got the ball, it was a small guarding him or somebody was in the post, he was aggressive. He grabbed every rebound for the most part with him and Tristan in the paint, and he was very aggressive with his shot. He also got to the free-throw line nine times. So definitely that mentality from Minnesota is what we all love.”
Kevin Love finally comfortable with his role in Cleveland
In his first two seasons with the Cavaliers, Kevin Love was frequently criticized because of his inconsistencies. In the NBA Finals 2016, Love lost the starting role to Richard Jefferson. The Cavaliers showed an improved performance on the defensive end that helped them capture their first NBA championship title.
Fortunately, Love regained the starting spot in the 2016-17 NBA season. He grabbed the opportunity to prove that the Cavaliers made the right decision to trade for him in 2014. So far, Love is playing his best season in Cleveland, averaging 19 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
The Cavaliers finally found a way to maximize his effectiveness on the court. They managed to leverage Love’s aggressiveness in the post, on the glass, and in transition. It’s definitely a good sign for the Cavaliers since they will really need him against the improved Golden State Warriors.
Cavaliers see nothing to worry being labeled as underdogs
As of now, the Warriors emerged as the top favorites to win the 2017 NBA championship title. The acquisition of Kevin Durant last summer gave them a formidable starting lineup and another LeBron James stopper. However, for fans who watched the NBA Finals in the past two seasons, they expect the upcoming matchup between the Cavs and the Warriors to be more competitive and unpredictable.
Being labeled as the “heavy underdogs,” the Cavaliers will surely it as a motivation to prove their doubters wrong. They were already in the same situation in the last year’s Finals. They overcame a 3-1 deficit to embarrassed the 73-9 win Warriors.
Photo courtesy: Erik Drost/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/ESPN