WITH a stacked lineup, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has been considering moving Kevin Love as the starting center this season.
After the Cavs acquired Jae Crowder in a trade, Lue now has an athletic wing defender who can play power forward and boosts the team’s floor spacing with more shooters if Love makes the move to center.
Lue has held that Tristan Thompson remained the starter at the five position entering training camp, but with the collection of talent now in Cleveland, the Cavs coach has been looking for other options to improve their performance.
One of these options for Lue is to play Love at center in a possible potent starting lineup that has LeBron James and Crowder at the forward spots, Dwyane Wade and a healthy Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.
The 6-foot-10 Love has already been told to be prepared to play more minutes at the five, after exclusively playing power forward last season and averaging 19 points, on 37.3% shooting from long range, and 11.1 rebounds.
“We did a lot of that last training camp, but as far as how the sets are put together right now throughout training camp I am seeing a pretty significant amount of time there," Love told cleveland.com on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
"Depends on -- now with so many guys on the team and so many lineups that we can throw out there it will probably change."
Moving Thompson to a bench role hurts the Cavs defense, but Crowder should mitigate that effect while giving Lue another outside shooting threat to team up with Love and James at the frontcourt.
“Spacing opportunities, spacing the floor. Being able to play through the elbows with multiple guys," was Lue’s short response to explain why he’s considering the change up to his starting unit.
Love, though, was a little more open than his coach, saying that whatever his role is in training camp, nothing is fixed as he sees his role and Thompson’s as interchangeable throughout the season.
“Tristan is a very dynamic roller, guy that plays a lot as a dunker. Myself, I have to play inside-out, mix that up and really take what the defense gives you. But it gives us a different look,” he said.
“I mentioned different dynamics out there on the floor with different lineups and we're so deep now that D-Wade and a lot of guys similar in size at that 4-5 spot, we're going to see guys playing interchangeable,” added Love. “We've been definitely interchangeable in that respect, but also I think Ty likes to match Tristan and I against each other so I think I will see a lot time at the 5 in practices going against T-top.”