Love back at power forward as Cavs tweak lineup
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — Kevin Love's latest move hasn't made any of the Cavaliers screaming mad.
There's a positive change.
Targeted by some teammates during a heated meeting this week, Love is returning to power forward after Cavs coach Tyronn Lue tweaked his lineup in hopes of reviving a team that has dropped 10 of 13 games.
Lue had been resisting changes, but after today's practice he announced he's dropping forward Jae Crowder to the second team, returning center Tristan Thompson to the starting lineup and switching Love, who was named an All-Star reserve, back to a position where he is much more comfortable.
LeBron James and his teammates have been consumed in recent days by chaos, highlighted by a pre-practice meeting Monday when players aired grievances. A few targeted their frustration at Love, who went home sick from Saturday's lopsided loss to Oklahoma City and missed Sunday's practice.
Lue said he considered other changes, but decided the Crowder-Thompson-Love maneuver is it for the moment.
"It's not a good time right now," Lue said. "Just see how this works first and go from there."
Monday's clear-the-air meeting didn't do much good as the Cavs lost in San Antonio on Tuesday. During the third quarter, Crowder ignored and walked around a fallen Love , who was helped to his feet by one of the Spurs players.
Cleveland's season is crumbling with every loss, and Lue had little choice but to do something to slow the decay.
He had several other options, like benching either point guard Isaiah Thomas or struggling shooter J.R. Smith, but Lue felt the move with Crowder made most sense. Lue said Crowder, who started 43 of Cleveland's 46 games, accepted the demotion without pushback.