Tag Archives: Kevin Love

Zach LaVine hopes to continue UCLA Bruin success in the NBA

The Seattle SuperSonics took a gamble by using their 4th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft on an athletic point guard out of UCLA named Russell Westbrook. The risk of pairing he and Kevin Durant was well worth the risk.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are hoping for similar results after joining Zach LaVine with the 2014 number one overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins.

LaVine shocked basketball analysts when he declared early for the draft after a mediocre freshman year at UCLA, which included being benched during the final part of the season.

But LaVine’s draft stock quickly rose after displaying uncanny athleticism at the combine.
The Los Angeles Lakers were amongst teams considering selecting him with their top-ten selection after a remarkable workout.

LaVine is averaging six points a game while getting acclimated to the NBA.

“It’s a learning process, no question. It’s a learning process with Zach,” coach Flip Saunders said. “He made some mistakes. He made some plays. We just have to keep on working with him.”

But recent history is in the T’Wolves favor. UCLA Bruins like Kevin Love, Trevor Ariza, Jrue Holiday, Arron Afflalo, Darren Collison, and Jordan Farmar have all had major impacts in the NBA.

But LaVine must learn to be effective without simply relying on his athleticism.
Playing alongside Wiggins, as Westbrook with Durant, should relieve him of any immediate pressure to produce, and give him time to develop into another heralded UCLA Bruin NBA player.

The Knicks Crash LeBron’s Homecoming

LeBron James left Cleveland in part due to their lack of championship personnel.
He no longer has that issue to prevent him from bringing a championship to his home state.

Kevin Love had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Kyrie Irving scored a Cavaliers high 22 points in a 95-90 loss to the New York Knicks in the highly anticipated return of LeBron to Cleveland.
The slimmed downed James went 5-17 for 17 points.

Everyone from Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber to the once banned Cavs fan James Blair was in attendance. Usher sang the national anthem, and Nike’s ‘Together’ LeBron ad ran on the jumbo-screen before tip-off.

The Cavs will have the best starting lineup in all 82 games this seasons, but the reserve unit will not boast that same advantage. New York’s bench outscored Cleveland’s 41-12.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points for the Knicks who bounced back from a 24 point drubbing in their home opener, and being deemed “Not ready for prime time,” by Phil Jackson.

Kobe: I Am What I Am

In a failed attempt to discuss something other than his health, a reporter at the Lakers’ second day of practice asked Kobe Bryant about the Kevin Love trade to Cleveland.

“Great trade for them? I don’t know,” he replied. “You guys are killing me, man. You guys are rusty.”

Bryant chiding the media for needing to get on their game was a turning of the tables from the ten minutes of questions he had to answer regarding his age, health, and how his body felt after two days of practice.

“I am what I am right now. I don’t know how to best say that, but I’m me,” he said, in that familiar Kobe monotonous tone.

Bryant primarily attacked from the post, something his predecessor Michael Jordan did in the final years of his career. It will remain to be seen if Coach Byron Scott will have him operating from that spot on the floor come the regular season.

“Kobe did great,” said Scott. “You could tell he was getting his legs under him, his wind is good, the rust is starting to come off.

One of the greatest challenges for an aging player who is returning from injury is the mental aspect, and having to acknowledge the physical shortcomings that accompany time. Bryant seems poised to work within his new limitations.

“There would be certain guys who when I was younger I could beat with quickness and now probably not,” he said. “You make those adjustments kind of from game to game. It depends on who you’re matching up with.”