Kyrie Irving did it again on Christmas day, and the Golden State Warriors have to be thinking about how they can stop this guy in crunch time. And that’s after dealing with Lebron James and Kevin Love as well.
For all the hype about Kevin Durant, we’re seeing the Cavs playing together like a real team, and that has to be scary for the Warriors and the rest of the NBA.
Much of the talk this offseason revolved around Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors, with little attention paid to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers after all the hoopla died down.
But the Cavs are even better this year, and Kevin Love is one of the most important factors. Love became much more comfortable with his role as the Cavs finished off their championship run last season, and now we’re seeing how potent a comfortable Kevin Love can be throughout the season. His 34-point first quarter last night is just one of many examples.
The Warriors are starting to reach their potential, but the Cavs are waiting . . .
With all the drama this season, many have assumed that the Cleveland Cavaliers will probably come up short in their quest for the first-ever NBA championship for the franchise this year, barring a monster performance from Lebron and some lucky breaks.
Well, that still may be true, but the sudden resurgence of Kyrie Irving plus the excellent play by Kevin Love may be changing that assessment.
The worst-kept secret in the NBA has now been made official as Kevin Love will be joining Lebron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland to form a new big-three. The Cavs had to part with uber-prospect Andrew Wiggins, so the price was steep. Still, the Cavs now have to be the favorites to come out of the East to the NBA Finals. And while many currently think a team coming out of the West would be favored, that may not be the case if Love, James and Irving gell quickly in C-Town.
It’s the worst-kept secret in sports, and now details are leaking out about the trade of Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers that will be announced later this month. Compensation will include Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round draft pick. Minnesota will not be able to unload the J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute or Alexey Shved contracts in the deal. Also, Love will reportedly opt out of his contract in 2015 and re-sign with the Cavaliers with the terms including a five-year, $120 million-plus contract extension. I’m assuming this is just a verbal commitment, which could of course unravel, though it’s very likely Love will keep that commitment.
This will give the Cavs the next NBA “big-three” combo of Lebron, Love and Kyrie Irving, with young talents like Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson complimenting them along with veterans like Mike Miller and possibly Ray Allen. The only piece missing is a rim protector, but the Cavs have plenty of assets to make more moves.
It’s a calculated risk for the Cavs, and the fans in Cleveland are split a little on this one, as many want to see Wiggins develop into a superstar in Cleveland. But these opportunities rarely present themselves in the NBA, and the Cavs would be foolish to pass on Kevin Love. With Indiana facing a down year after the tragic Paul George injury, the path to the Finals in the East may be pretty easy for the Cavs. But you can’t take anything for granted in the NBA. It will take time for these three stars to mesh, but if they do this team can be a powerhouse.