In 2010, LeBron James was on his own. His Cleveland Cavaliers team didn’t have any superstars, or very many NBA All-Stars.
Mo Williams was probably LeBron’s top sidekick. No offense to Mo, but he isn’t a number 2 player on a championship caliber team.
In 4 years with the Miami Heat, LeBron led them to 4 consecutive NBA Finals appearances, and 2 championships. A very successful 4-year term in South Beach for LeBron.
On July 11th, 2014 LeBron James announced he was coming home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
At first, it was just a great story. We had no idea how good Cleveland might be. They would be a young team with players such as Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Tristan Thompson.
None of them have ever played in a NBA playoff game before, no postseason experience whatsoever. That team wasn’t going to win the NBA Finals. Maybe a few years from now, but the Cavaliers decided that don’t have time to wait. The time to win is now.
Today, the trade that would send Kevin Love to Cleveland in exchange for Andrew Wiggins has become official. Minnesota acquired Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Thad Young from the Philadelphia 76ers, who were also a part of the trade. Minnesota essentially traded the 1st round pick the Cavaliers traded them for Young.
The Cleveland Cavaliers now look like a team that could win the NBA Finals. Not only a few years from now, but next year.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh received a lot of hype going into their 1st season together. Most of that hype was hate, as they were the new villains of the NBA.
LeBron, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving won’t have as much hatred coming their way next season, but are they the better Big 3?
It’s hard to answer that right now since we haven’t seen LeBron/Love/Kyrie play together, and it is hard to be better than a trio that went to 4 straight NBA finals, but here is a better question at the moment. Who is the better LeBron sidekick? Kevin Love or Chris Bosh?
Kevin Love and Chris Bosh have almost identical stats the year before they joined LeBron:
Wow. They are exactly the same age, and their team had the same exact record at 40-42. That is incredible.
Kevin Love has the better stats, but they are almost the same player. Key word: ALMOST.
I’m going to go ahead and answer the question right now…Kevin Love is the better sidekick to LeBron James than Chris Bosh. (To clear things up, I am talking about 2010 Bosh, not 2014-2015 Chris Bosh.)
Chris Bosh averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds per game in his last season with Toronto. The next year (first year with LeBron) he averaged 18 points and 8 rebounds. And the next year it went down a little further to 16 and 6.
Will Kevin Love see a stat-decrease in his first year with Cleveland? Yeah, probably. But will it be as big of a drop-off as Chris Bosh’s? I don’t think so.
Last year with the Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. I see the points going down a bit considering LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are now on his team, but I see the rebound numbers staying the same.
My prediction for Kevin Love’s stat-line next season is around 20 points per game (maybe a little less) and 10 rebounds a game.
Kevin Love will be starting alongside Anderson Varejao, who averaged 9 rebounds a game last year. LeBron averaged 7 a game lst year with the Heat. If someone’s rebound totals are going to take a hit, I’m going to guess Anderson Varejao.
In addition to rebounding, Love is a upgrade over Chris Bosh in the pick and roll game as well. Chris Bosh has a great jump shot, but Kevin Love has the ability to stretch all the way to the 3-point line. Bosh can make 3′s, but not on the same level as Kevin Love.
Here is an example of Kevin Love’s pick and pop game:
And here is Chris Bosh:
I realize this is a small sample size, but Kevin Love is just a better option for the pick-and-roll than Chris Bosh.
Kevin Love also has a bigger body. He will have more success trying to guard some of the players Bosh struggled to guard, like Roy Hibbert, David West, and Tim Duncan for example. Love has more body strength than Bosh, which is part of the reason he averages more rebounds.
Love will never be the great photo and video bomber that Chris Bosh was, though.
In conclusion, I believe Kevin Love is a better sidekick than Chris Bosh was in 2010. Love is a better rebounder, can shoot the 3, and he has a bigger body. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love play together next season will be must-watch TV.
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