The Cleveland Cavaliers should be immediate contenders in the Eastern Conference next season after an historic offseason, but that doesn't mean Kevin Love's adjustment from top dog in Minnesota to third cog in Cleveland will be any easier. As Chris Bosh told Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report, Love's transition could be a serious challenge early on.
"It's going to be very difficult for him," Bosh said of Love's new task. "Even if I was in his corner and I was able to tell him what to expect and what to do, it still doesn't make any difference. You still have to go through things, you still have to figure out things on your own. It's extremely difficult and extremely frustrating. He's going to have to deal with that."
Bosh knows about this situation from personal experience. Prior to partnering with LeBron James in Miami a few years ago, Bosh was a high-scoring All-Star for the Toronto Raptors. In his first year with the Heat, Bosh saw his per-game averages drop from 24.0 points and 10.8 rebounds to 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. Last season, he averaged 16.2 and 6.6.
Much of what Bosh is referring to concerns touches on the offensive end. Back in Toronto, he was seeing 16-17 shot attempts per game, but that dropped to 13-14 in Miami. Love must adjust to having fewer opportunities to challenge the defense on a nightly basis:
"You just get your entree and that's it. It's like, wait a minute, I need my appetizer and my dessert and my drink, what are you doing? And my bread basket. What is going on? I'm hungry! It’s a lot different. But if you can get through it, good things can happen. But it never gets easy. Even up until my last year of doing it, it never gets easier."
Last season, Love averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game with Minnesota. He averaged nearly 19 shots per game, and no other member of the Timberwolves came close to that figure, with Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic the only others averaging more than 10 shots a night.
Playing next to the likes of James, Kyrie Irving and others, Love assuredly won't have the same kind of opportunities, and as Bosh said, that demands massive adjustment. It's important to keep this in mind as the Cavaliers get going this season, since they'll surely be working things out on the fly similar to the Heat back in 2010, when Miami stumbled over the first few weeks of its first season with LeBron.