Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, are playing like the champions that they are. Tristan is bringing it on the defensive end as he always does, and Love is seemingly healthy and tearing up the stat sheet like he did in Minnesota. Kevin is quietly a solid interior presence while Thompson’s offensive game has expanded. Tristan is the longest tenured Cav, and Love is the oldest at 30, they have Cleveland on their backs. This big-duo has everything you could want in a front court and is quietly becoming one of the best in the league.
I want to guard the best wings and big on every team, make their night tough and gain that respect around the league. My goal is to make First-Team All-Defense.-Tristan Thompson
Cleveland is top five in rebounding percentage. This is thanks to Thompson being the prolific hustler he is, and Kevin Love (2nd in the league in rebounds). Both have proven to be double-double machines so far. Love started off with a streak of 5 double doubles and Thompson had 4. Thompson is the last center you want to run a pick and roll against. He has incredible footwork for a big and can stay in front of every position. Love, however, is a guy ball handlers want in front of them.
Thompson is like a modern day Dennis Rodman, a boardman that prides himself on defense and hustle. He always leads matches in offensive rebounds. He and Larry Nance Jr. held Giannis Antetokounmpo to less points (14) than FGs attempted (15). Giannis entered that game averaging 30 PPG. Tristan personally held “The Freak” to a 2/7 split while guarding him nearly half the game.
Kevin Love had 86 points, 84 rebounds, & 24 assists through the first 5 games. The only other time this was done was by Wilt Chamberlin in 1966.
Kevin Love is one of the most gifted power forwards the game has ever seen. He is an All-Star lock when healthy and he’s back in the role where the offense runs through him, like his Minnesota days. He and Thompson have seven Finals appearances as starters combined, these guys know what it takes to win. Love’s leadership on the offensive end, along with Thompson setting the tone on both ends, are paving the way for the Cavs to steal games. In a win over a Bulls team that has playoff aspirations, the two combined for 40 points and 30 rebounds. They went for 46 points and 26 rebounds to defeat an Indiana team, that just saw the post-season. John Beilein has the whole offense running through the post.
Love is a proven threat from all spots on the floor, he can pound it down low or light it up from outside. Thompson has learned to be more aggressive in attacking interiors and taking advantage of open looks given to him. This veteran duo stepping up is taking pressure off the young back court. Without the demand to score, prospect guards like Collin Sexton and Darius Garland can focus on developing their game completely, by making the best basketball play possible. Love always looks to be efficient while Thompson is usually conservative with his shots. These mindsets are boosting team performance. Knowing the ball can very well come back to them, players look to make the pass that leads to the assist, instead seeking their own shot. This is the Kevin Love of old, and the Tristan Thompson of new. If the young bloods can step up next to this production, Cleveland is primed for a playoff appearance.