Tony Dejak/Associated Press
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love estimated on Tuesday that he was about a month away from returning to the court.
“I’m probably about two weeks out from getting this movable cast off for good, and then from there about a few weeks after that before I get back,” Love told Kurt Helin of NBCSports.com. “So I have a good amount of time, about a month.”
Love will return to a new-look Cavaliers team. Gone are Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade. In are George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood.
“Just clearing out…I shouldn’t say that; just getting new faces and getting new energy in the locker room has been big for us,” Love noted. “Even in the last two games, you can just see the energy is different, you can see guys are really competing on both ends of the floor, and that bodes well for us the second half of the season.”
The Cavaliers are 3-0 since reshaping their roster at the trade deadline.
“It might not have been a bad thing to get some fresh faces in there and guys from situations where they really wanted to win,” Love added. “I think first and foremost, seeing those (new) guys in Atlanta, they didn’t play, but they got there right after the trade and they just said they want to win.
“You can tell when somebody says it, you can tell when somebody means it. They really meant it, and it felt good to have that there.”
Love, 29, is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, numbers that may rise now that the Cavaliers are starting Tristan Thompson at center again. Love had been playing the position at points this season, though it clearly isn’t his natural position, as he’s much more of a stretch-4. In turn, Cleveland’s defense struggled and is allowing 110 points per game, 27th in the NBA.
Since the trade, however, the Cavaliers are giving up 106 points per contest. That would put the Cavaliers at a more respectable 16th in the NBA, which is a marked improvement.
Adding Love in a month will be a major boost for the team’s offense as well. Given the team’s 3-0 start with its new roster, Love should be returning to a Cavaliers team on a far better track than the one that limped into the trade deadline.