Just when you think Dwyane Wade playing basketball with a 90-year-old woman couldn’t get any better, the Heat star works in a playful dig at Mario Chalmers. Gold!
Kevin Love will have a lot of fun playing with LeBron James in Kyrie Irving this year. He already is.
LeBron and Irving are better than any of Love’s teammates in Minnesota, and both are willing distributors.
In time, this should go really well – offensively at least.
But there’s an adjust period, and Love is feeling its effects.
“My entire life I’ve played the game from inside-out,” Love explained to NEOMG. “So the more touches I can get inside to get myself going, the better. I’m not accustomed to starting out a game shooting a three, so it’s just something that I see.
“Yeah, the offense is built that way but I just have to make a conscious decision to get myself in there,” Love said. “There are a lot of times where I just find myself fading to the three-point line. For me, it’s a mentality and that’s easy to fix.
Love is an excellent 3-point shooter for his size, but what makes him stand out is his ability to score outside AND inside. To maximize his skills, the Cavaliers need him to both.
But this is what Chris Bosh was talking about. Love must change his game to complement LeBron and Irving.
The situation, more than Love’s skill set, is pulling him to the perimeter – and that’s OK.
The Cavaliers can’t be about maximizing Love’s skills – or LeBron’s skills or Irving’s skills. They have to be about finding the equilibrium that best serves the team, and likely, that means each of the three playing a style not perfectly tailored to him.
Love can probably stand to get more inside touches within that system, but he has to understand Cleveland putting him in ideal positions to succeed individually – while ignoring what that would mean for everyone else – shouldn’t be the goal. Everyone has to find happy mediums, and that takes time.
The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.
I would have drafted Nerlens Noel No. 1 in 2013.
Yes, his injury worried me, but not because he might not contribute for a full year. The Cavaliers, who had the top pick, didn’t make the playoffs anyway. What did they gain by allowing Noel to fall (all the way to No. 6, where New Orleans picked him and traded him to the 76ers).
I wasn’t even worried about Noel falling behind. The list of players picked so high since the NBA-ABA merge whose debuts were delayed an entire season, though far from perfect, is pretty impressive:
- Jonas Valanciunas
- Ricky Rubio
- Blake Griffin
- Greg Oden
- Danny Ferry
- David Robinson
- Larry Bird
The only real concern was the injury robbing him permanently of even a little athleticism, a skill necessary for his game. [Interjection: As high as I was on Noel just a year ago, I had to spend time now reviewing his game to write this. I seriously forgot so much about how he played. That’s what a year off will do. It’s also why I’m so excited to see him in action].
Noel was/is a phenomenal leaper, which allowed him to block a ton of shots and finish at the rim. Add agility to guard the pick-and-roll and quick hands to get steals, and Noel has ridiculous defensive potential. His offensive game is raw, but as long as he sticks to doing what he does well – working in the paint – he should be fine. If the tanking 76ers want to let him spread his wings while they’re interested in losing, that’s fine, too.
For Noel to succeed long-term, he must show his athleticism has remained in tact. That’s the big question he can answer this season.
In time, he’ll have to refine his game, but there’s no rush in Philadelphia. As long as Noel’s athleticism — i.e., his upside — hasn’t escaped him, the 76ers can afford to be patient.
The key is getting Noel on the court so he can test his athleticism — and show off that hair.