LeBron James has always been looked at as the unofficial ‘coach’ of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the past three years since he returned, even though he was not the head coach. People see LeBron as having more authority than David Blatt who coached the Cavs for a season and a half, and Tyronn Lue who has coached the Cavs for the last two seasons. And a recent statement that has come out from Kevin Love further indicates this idea.

With the new additions the Cavaliers acquired in the offseason after losing their starting point guard, and gaining a bunch of new players, Coach Lue has had to make some changes to the starting lineup.

With some new point guards and wing players that add a lot of depth to Cleveland, it was a hard choice for Tyronn Lue to readjust the starting lineup, but he did. Moving J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson to the bench to replace them with new additions Dwyane Wade and Jae Crowder in the starting lineup. He also promoted Kevin Love to the center position, but Love states that his coach wasn’t the one to alert him of the position change.

LeBron told Love he will play center this season

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ all-star big man revealed to the media on Tuesday during practice that LeBron James was the first person to alert him that he will be playing the role of starting center this season, rather than starting power forward which he has played for almost his whole career.

Kev talked about how James told him what was happening before head coach Tyronn Lue was able to announce it, saying:

“Funny thing happened the third day of practice. I had asked about a certain play on the defensive end and whether it was different coverages for the 4 or 5 man, and Bron’ kind of stopped me and goes, ‘You know you’re going to be starting at the 5, right?’

Kevin Love was initially caught off guard by the news as he has not had to play the role of starting center in the league before, but he mentioned that he has started to wrap his mind around the role more and is still training the same.

The small ball effect

We have seen a lot of changes to how teams play, and how they organize their starting lineups in today’s NBA. Just a few years ago, compared to now, there is a lot of differences in how the game is played. Before the dominance of the three-point shot started to truly take over the league, teams would play a lot more in the paint, and their lineups would be focused on having one or two dominant big men who can grab rebounds and score inside.

Now teams mostly have just one of these players on the court at a time, or if they go small, none of these players at all. Big men have developed three-point strokes to spread their game out past the three-point line.

The scenario with Kevin Love this season is a prime example of the new small ball approach of modern-day NBA. Every player in the Cavs starting five can shoot the three ball, this spreads the defense out to the three-point line to guard every player and can lead to great opportunities at attacking the basket for players like D-Rose, Wade, James and even Crowder in the starting lineup.