Lue: Cavs Won't Change Struggling Love's Role



Kevin Love will remain the Cavaliers' starting center, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue told reporters on Wednesday.

Love, who has started at the five-spot throughout the playoffs, has struggled in postseason play, averaging just 10.9 points per game – well below his season average of 17.6 – on 31.9 per cent shooting.

He had just seven points on three-of-13 shooting in Cleveland's second-round series opener against Toronto on Tuesday. Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas recorded 21 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in the contest.

Love said after Cleveland's 113-112 overtime victory in game one he was more comfortable at the power forward position.

"It's been my whole career I've played at the four," Love said (via ESPN). "As of right now I need to find some easy buckets. They were right there [in game one]. I just couldn't put them down."

But, Lue said Wednesday that Cleveland were a better team with Love playing center.

"We need Kevin to play the five for the spacing," Lue said. "I think it helps us offensively."

Cleveland center Tristan Thompson has been coming off the bench in postseason play. He has seemed to find an offensive rhythm in the Cavaliers' last two games. After scoring just three points in Cleveland's first five playoff contests, he has registered back-to-back double-doubles, including a 14-point, 12-rebound performance Tuesday.

Lue said he currently prefers to keep Thompson in a reserve role.

"He changed [game one] with offensive rebounding, his energy," Lue said. "It was big for us. I just like what he's doing off the bench right now. If we have to adjust at some point, we will. His presence off the bench has been huge."

Cleveland will face the Raptors in game two on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.