THE Cleveland Cavaliers have been in stellar form defending the franchises first title from last year by starting the season 18-6, sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. A large part of their winning play has been due to the seemingly perfect balance of play between the Cavs ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Love in particular has been playing well in the new season, with many asking the question if the big man deserves to be an All-Star for the fourth time?
LOVE’S time in Cleveland hasn’t all been smooth sailing, with his place amongst the team creating plenty of talk and debate over his first two seasons in Ohio. Kevin Love was one of the best players in the league during his time at Minnesota and it was predicted that he may struggle to fit into the team with ball dominant stars in James and Irving. For a good portion of time Love was used as an overrated spot up shooter and was visibly annoyed, which led to trade rumours galore and questions about their chemistry. This season however Love seems to be thriving in the Cleveland offense. Shooting close to a career best from downtown, while having his highest offensive output since joining the franchise (22 points a game).
A 18-6 record doesn’t exactly set the world on fire, but it is impressive that despite winning the championship last season, the Cavs are looking better than last year. It has taken time for Love to adjust to slotting into his role, but as LeBron takes on more of a facilitator role, Love has stepped up on the offensive end, converting three’s and getting more touches down low. He is playing like one of the best forwards in the league at the minute and thoroughly deserves mention in the All-Star conversation.
TAKING a quick glance at how the rosters will shape out in the East it’s fair to say that James, Paul George, Melo, Irving, Wade, DeRozan and Whiteside are locks based on fan votes and performance. That leaves five spots and probably only one or two more big men. Love’s biggest competition will come from Paul Milsap, Andre Drummond and maybe Dwight Howard, but I doubt All-Star competition will use more than one true center (Whiteside). The Cavs should be rewarded with three All-Star’s in James, Irving and Love should they maintain their best record in the East and even if they opt for two it’s hard to see Kevin Love not getting in if he continues to play the way he is. In my eyes he is playing like the best power forward in the East at the minute and will be an All-Star come February.
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