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The slight changes to the Cleveland Cavaliers behind Kevin Love's blistering start

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Kevin Love being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week caps a brilliant turnaround for a player who, under David Blatt, was seen as the oddball in Cleveland. 

Life has not been easy for the power forward since his move from the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2014 that saw number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins move to Minneapolis in a three-team deal. 

However, there have been a number of factors that have brought us to this point - where the Cavaliers look stronger than ever and Love is getting the attention and usage that his talent warrants. 

One of the major changes came when Tyronn Lue was promoted to head coach following the dismissal of Blatt. The shift in mentality took place during the previous regular season and has continued this year.

Unlike LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, guys who can seemingly turn it on with the flick of a switch, Love is a player who thrives on continuity and form. So far this campaign, the team have made it their aim to run the offence through the forward in the first quarter, and most notably the first play of the game. 

And if he's hot, then it pays dividends - his 34-point first quarter showing against the Portland Trail Blazers is a testament to that. 

No longer being shoved into the corner for stand-and-shoot threes, the game plan is crucial to ensuring they draw the best from the former All-Star. 

Much like in his days with the T-Wolves, Love is getting the majority of his looks from the block or the perimeter, and it is working a treat - he is currently dropping 22.3 points per night; the highest in his Cavaliers career. 

But this has only been the case thanks to his work as a screener at the elbow which allows him to get involved in the play earlier and either move to the perimeter for an open three or post up against his opponent under the basket. 

Cleveland Cavaliers v Indiana Pacers

To add some context to this, Love is currently shooting a career-high from three at 43% and his 1.0PPP is only behind Anthony Davis, who is one of the most dominant forces currently in the NBA. 

But the biggest upturn in his fortunes has been the change in mindset from LeBron. The four-time MVP has proven he is the best in the business and, having carried the scoring burden throughout his whole career, has moved into a facilitating role this season. 

The self-professed King is providing a career-high 9.7 dimes a game and has been key in helping Love get open looks. It could all change come playoff time. Love struggled against good perimeter defences in the past. But the moment is right for the UCLA alum to enjoy his time in the sun. 

Topics:
NBA
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love

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