Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Centre of attention - Cavs makes Kevin Love change

Published:Wednesday | October 4, 2017 | 12:13 AM
File: In this May 1, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love (left) tries to keep the ball from Toronto Raptors' P.J. Tucker during the first half in Game 1 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP):

Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love is being moved after all from forward to centre. Love, who has been the subject of trade speculation for three years in Cleveland, will be the club's new starting centre, coach Tyronn Lue announced earlier after the team played an intra-squad scrimmage at Quicken Loans Arena.

Lue has experimented with Love at centre during training camp and believes the new-look line-up will create matchup problems for opposing centres as well as open the floor for LeBron James, Derrick Rose and others.

"He's a great passer," Lue said of Love. "Fives (centres) have to get out and try to guard him on the pick and roll with LeBron and D-Rose and those guys making plays, so it's going to be tough for those guys. We liked it."

Centre Tristan Thompson will come off the bench, and newly acquired forward Jae Crowder will take Love's former spot, Lue said. Crowder, acquired this summer in the Kyrie Irving trade, is a strong defender.

Lue has more options this season after Cleveland's roster was overhauled, with Irving being traded to Boston and the additions of Rose, Crowder, Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Thomas and Jeff Green.

 

Back-up point guard

 

Wade will likely be Cleveland's backup point guard until Thomas recovers from a hip injury, but Lue said he hasn't committed to that idea just yet.As for Crowder, Lue said his defensive presence will free up James.

For now, James is sidelined with a sprained left ankle sustained last week in practice. Lue said the three-time champion will not play in tonight's exhibition opener against Atlanta. James' injury is not believed to be serious, and the Cavs will make sure he's full healed before he plays.

Lue said he expects James on the court at some point in the preseason. Cleveland open the regular season on October 17 against Irving and the Celtics.