Lue considering starting Kevin Love at center
NBA.com Global on Oct 02, 2017 07:37 AM
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson (24) reacts with Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) after Love scored a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
NBA.com staff report
With the addition of Jae Crowder, a rugged 6’6” defender who can guard both forward positions, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said he is considering whether to start Kevin Love over Tristan Thompson at center.
"Spacing opportunities, spacing the floor," Lue said. "Being able to play through the elbows with multiple guys."
Crowder shot a career 39.8 percent on 3-pointers last season, a critical skill in a league that puts more emphasis on long-range shooting with each passing season.
It wouldn't be a huge adjustment for the 6’10” Love. While listed as a power forward, he's spent nearly 40 percent of his career minutes in the middle according to Basketball Reference. Indeed, he spent 48 and 60 percent of his playing time at center during his first two seasons with the Cavs before playing at power forward almost exclusively last season, during which he average 19 points and 11.1 rebounds.
While that was easily his best campaign so far in Cleveland, a potential starting lineup of Love, Crowder, LeBron James, recently-acquired Dwyane Wade and (when healthy) Isaiah Thomas could be too much for Lue to resist.