The Cleveland Cavaliers will open the season with Kevin Love as their center, giving them a small and very weird starting five of Love, Jae Crowder, LeBron James, (presumably) J.R. Smith, and Derrick Rose. That’s only assuming they don’t go all-the-way bonkers and give the shooting guard job to Dwyane Wade’s old ass. This is fun!
Switching Love from power forward to center will shift Tristan Thompson to the bench, for the time being at least; TNT’s David Aldridge says the move is pegged to Rose starting while Isaiah Thomas recovers from his hip injury. Crowder will be the nominal power forward, though he and LeBron are interchangeable at the forward spots, and Crowder, one presumes, will just guard whichever opposing forward requires more attention and energy. It makes some sense: The Cavs have more frontcourt players (Love, Thompson, LeBron, Crowder) in their rotation than their starting five can fit, and with the decidedly shooting-deficient Rose in place of Thomas, they’ll need all the spacing they can get. A Love-Crowder-LeBron frontcourt pairing gives them much better spacing than Thompson-Love-LeBron or Thompson-Crowder-LeBron.
On the other hand, it might be a big ol’ disaster at the other end of the court! I am picturing poor Crowder sprinting around like a maniac, trying to zone up the entire half-court and protect the rim. That could rule, honestly. But really, the important thing here is the reminder that the Cavs could, if they so choose and/or injuries give them no choice, give minutes to a world-historically hilarious and insane Love-LeBron-Wade-J.R.-Rose lineup, in the year 2017. Or, God help them, 2018! This is what I am rooting for. I am also rooting for a rip in the fabric of space-time to take me and that lineup back to 2012, when they for sure would have wrecked shit all over the place.