Cleveland, Ohio (Sporting Alert) — Kevin Love practiced fully with his teammates on Wednesday and will start for the Cleveland Cavaliers against the New York Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night.
Love took a knock on his ribs during Tuesday’s practice session, which forced him to sit out the remainder of the day’s session.
However, the club stated that resting him was just a precaution to help take care of his discomfort at that time.
The All-Star power forward “practiced without limitations” on Wednesday and head coach David Blatt says he will be fine to join the likes of Kyrie Irving and LeBron James in the starting lineup and make his competitive debut for his new club in Thursday’s season opener.
Despite the concerning media circulation about Love’s fitness and his day-to-day listing ahead of the game, Blatt noted that the former Minnesota Timberwolves star is not in danger of missing out.
“We pulled him out (of that session) but he’s OK,” Blatt revealed. “He’s fine.
Love could see a dip in his stats this season, but Blatt promised that he will get as many touches as possible.
“We will get him down in the post more because he is efficient and effective there,” the coach said.
“Kev will get his share of touches and all-over-the-floor opportunities.”
James also echoed the same thing: “He will get his touches. We need him to get his touches in order to be successful both inside and outside.”
Blatt also said that he wasn’t worried about Love’s preseason stats, especially those in the latter stages where he shot just 28 percent from the floor in the last three games.
“That is what the preseason is all about,” Blatt said. “The last thing I worry about with Kevin is his shooting.
“He’s done a very good job defensively in the preseason, which was a concern people had about him.
“He’s a great player and I’m not concerned whether the ball has been going in consistently or not for him. It will.”
The Cavs will face a New York Knicks team hoping to rebound from their 24 point season opening loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony combined for just 26 points and 12 rebounds and were the only two to score in double figures for the Knicks in the defeat in the defeat.
The pair admit they must improve in both columns and their teammates must help as well, if they are to beat the Cavaliers.
Also in action on Thursday are the Los Angeles Clippers, who like the Cavs, will be making their season debut.
The Clippers will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at STAPLES Center, with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin targeting a victory to start the new campaign.
Russell Westbrook scored 38 points for the Thunder in the loss to the Portland Trail Blazer on Wednesday and the visitors will be looking to him again to do the bulk of the work in the absence of star man Kevin Durant.
Thursday, October 30
GAMES, TIME (ET) AND TV CHANNELS
Washington at Orlando 7:00 PM CSNB, FSFL
Detroit at Minnesota 8:00 PM FSDT, FSN
New York at Cleveland 8:00 PM TNT – National television
Utah at Dallas 8:30 PM ROOT, FSSW
Oklahoma City at LA Clippers 10:30 PM TNT – National television