Love led the Cavs in scoring on Wednesday night. He played in 168 games with Los Angeles before he was sent to the Cavaliers as part of the Isaiah Thomas trade in early February. The Raptors are trying to figure out how to maximize the talents of new starters Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the Celtics are playing for the first time with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward in the same lineup.
The Raptors also have a new coach in Nick Nurse after Dwane Casey was sacked and took over as coach of the Detroit Pistons.
"They may be further ahead of the curve because they have everybody back and have had the same team for a while", Green said. He got a scholarship to play at the University of Wyoming. It's great to go through challenges like this at the beginning of the season - on the road against Toronto. He had an MRI Monday that showed no structural damage.
Per insider Chris Haynes, big man Larry Nance Jr. has agreed to a four-year extension worth $45 million.
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"Everybody knows I love Cleveland", Nance said Saturday when asked about his impending contract extension.
The Raptors were 4-1 in exhibition games. Whether that is directed at the opposing team or used as motivation to take control of the offense will depend on the night, but it's certain that Love needs to step up in a major way for a team that is in the midst of a transitional period. "We had a personality who was a huge leader in LeBron James, who brought it every single day, who put his time in, and was very vocal, and continued to grow in his sense as a leader". "I think I remember that Miami a couple of years ago (after James left) came out of the gates kind of like gangbusters, moving the ball and playing faster and doing all this stuff they wanted to do". But more than that, can he help the Cavaliers play decent basketball?
The Raptors are getting one of the top players in the league in Leonard, but he hardly played last season because of a quadriceps injury. "It's about right now and what I need to do to be the best player for the Raptors, and that's what my focus is". Like Phil Jackson not calling a timeout when his team's struggling and daring them to embrace a hostile atmosphere or fight through their struggles, you've got to take the training wheels off and be willing to watch your kid take a fall here and there till they get it right.