The Cavs have issues as they wrap up the preseason, but at least Kevin Love has looked like he should be ready to start the regular season on October 27 in Chicago. Love played 22 minutes against Dallas on Monday, scoring 10 points and collecting 4 rebounds and that was after playing 12 minutes the night before in Toronto.
“Not surprised,” Cavaliers head coach David Blatt insisted. “As I told you on many occasions I think physically he’s really in good shape. He has no problems running the court, moving around on the court. I thought he didn’t shy away from any contact whatsoever.”
While Love shot 4-11 from the field at Quicken Loans Arena on Monday and it will likely take a bit of time to shake off all the rust and get into true NBA game shape, it would be hard to disagree with Coach Blatt about Love’s readiness to play after his back-to-back effort.
“(He) got shots and we know those are shots that he’s going to knock down,” Blatt said. “He’s ready to play and we’re happy to have him back, believe me.”
Love has confirmed that he is feeling better than he has in a long time. He isn’t concerned about being in the rough and tumble under the basket and he intends on being aggressive in the paint.
“We have been going through a lot of the stuff in practice,” Love said. “(My) body felt better than it has in a long time.
“I intend on being in the paint and getting those offensive rebounds like I used to and putting myself in a position to be aggressive.”
“(Love) has been out since game four of the playoffs last year,” Blatt cautioned. “(He) has worked very very hard to come back. He is in good shape. He is in good basketball shape too. Now its time for him to get his rhythm, get his game experience back.”
The Cavaliers training camp and preseason has been nothing less than a revolving door of injuries, non-basketball distractions and experiments to try in fill in the gaps until everyone can get back healthy and hopefully the Tristan Thompson contract dispute is resolved. Fortunately, the team has about a week of practice before the season opener to figure things out and hopefully get a few of the walking wounded back in the lineup.
“We had a few longer stretches were we can just practice and we have another one coming up just before the the first game against Chicago,” Blatt said. “The main thing honestly is to just to come out of these (preseason) games healthy.
“(A slow start) is a possibility given the type of injury bug that we’ve had coming in to the season, but we didn’t start gangbusters last year and we finished up pretty good.
“I am going to be a lot happier when we get all our players healthy and on the court together.”
At least Blatt can count on Love being back in the lineup in time to start the season.