NBA

Kevin Love.

Tyronn Lue on Kevin Love's form: "He's a top 10 player, the one we all hoped we'd see"

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have been rolling in the postseason having swept both the Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks and they are now once again enjoying some extended rest as a reward. 

The Cavs are patiently waiting to discover their opponents for the Eastern Conference finals as the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors are locked in a battle to meet LeBron James and co. - the Canadian outfit now holds a 3-2 lead in the series. 

The form of Cleveland's big three of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love is the main reason why the Wine and Gold are still undefeated in the playoffs. 

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It is the form of Love in particular, however, that is making the Ohio-based team such dangerous opponents.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves forward has had his fair share of critics since moving to Cleveland and has found the adjustment tough during his two years with the franchise. But under head coach Tyronn Lue, he is finally getting bak to the level that made him one of the league's best players in Minneapolis.

The 27-year-old's first outing in the playoffs was cut short last year after he dislocated his shoulder in round one against the Boston Celtics but he is thriving on the big stage at the second time of asking, much to the delight of his coach and teammates.  

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four

As mentioned earlier this week, coach Lue challenged Love to be more aggressive with some colourful language during the regular season and after a practice session on Wednesday, the rookie coach was asked if he was happy with the way he's responded.

"Yes, the one we all hoped we'd see," Lue said about Love. "Kevin is a great player, I believe a top 10 player in this league and he knows it. When you have a team with three All-Stars, sometimes you don't get to play the role you're capable of playing.

"That's what's been hurting Kevin over this last year and a half, but now we're using him the right way, he's comfortable and things are great."

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks - Game Three

The three-time All-Star is averaging 18.9 points to go along with 12.5 rebounds and has recorded a double-double in all eight of the Cavs' postseason games. 

Unfinished business

After going down last year, Love admitted that he found it tough having to watch his teammates do battle without him, but he is ready to make up for lost time and is using the disappointment of the last campaign as motivation. 

"There's something to be said for being able to sit there and watch and be hungry," Love said. "There's a little bit more that goes into it this year. I think last year kind of helped me getting a little taste in the playoffs and then having it taken away from me. Being able to play has been big for me."

LeBron also testifies to that saying: ''He was starting to get his groove and that's what (ticked) him off more than anything when he got injured. 'He was finally starting to get a rhythm of what he needed to do to help our team win - and what I wanted out of him and what he wanted out of me. That's why he took it to heart more than anyone.''

The Cavaliers will have a shot at redemption if they and the Golden State Warriors win their respective conferences as expected and meet again in an NBA finals rematch. 

Topics:
NBA
Kyrie Irving
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
Kevin Love

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