Less touches, more scrutiny for Cavs' Love in 2014-15
College Contributor Network
In a little over two weeks, the return of King James will be complete.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will open up the season as the 5/2 favorites to win the NBA championship, months after finishing last season 16 games under .500.
Cavs fans are celebrating LeBron bringing hope and (Kevin) Love to the very franchise he deserted on national TV, however, former teammate Chris Bosh is not impressed.
"If guys aren't in this locker room, I don't have much time for them -- if any," declared Bosh.
The Heat forward asserted he is "trying to lead" his team and help out the guys who are still "around" in Miami. But, he did have enough time to offer his take on Love's transition to Cleveland.
"It's going to be very difficult for him," explained Bosh.
"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."
Less touches, less glory, more scrutiny. That's the price of creating a star-studded alliance with LeBron James. Sacrifices must be made to win. Bosh chose to adapt and he is a two-time champion because of it.
Time will tell if Love and Kyrie Irving will enjoy similar success, but it's a solid bet that Love won't be averaging 26 points per game again any time soon. As for Irving, LeBron says it's "Kyrie's show." Even with that endorsement, Irving can expect a major role change.
The changes aren't because LeBron's stubborn or selfish -- he's arguably one of the most versatile players and best passers of his generation -- but no other team has anyone remotely as talented as LeBron. His impact is so great that when he joins a new team, they have to change to accommodate his game, especially fellow All-Stars like Love and Irving.
Bosh's attempted field goals decreased by nearly three shots per game when he joined Miami and, while playing for Toronto, he took less shots than Love did while in Minnesota. Chances are that Love will lose three to four touches per game, while being expected to maintain his rebounding numbers and improve his defense.
And touches aren't the only thing Love may miss out on during his time with the Cavs. He isn't the face of a franchise anymore, but that doesn't mean the media is going to cut him slack. Like Bosh before him, Love will take on a smaller role and a bigger slice of the blame.
On paper, the Cavs are the best team in the NBA, but talent can only take a team so far, chemistry and luck have to carry the team the rest of the way. Last year, the Heat came up short in the Finals and even Dwyane Wade admitted the experience "wasn't fun."
K-Love and Kyrie didn't sign up for fun, they signed up for championships and this year's Cavs will surely be a work in progress. Can they contend? They absolutely will, if their stars are willing to share the spotlight, the pressure and, most importantly, the basketball.
Khari Thompson is a sophomore at Hampton University, who hails from Boston, MA. Majoring in Broadcast Journalism, Khari is the play-by-play voice of Hampton Lady Pirates basketball. Follow him on Twitter: @thatkidchief