Kevin Love has claimed that he is ready play a more prominent role for the Cleveland Cavaliers as he prepares for his second season with the team.
The 27-year-old averaged 16.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in his debut campaign with the Cavaliers after being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he was often the subject of perceived chemistry issues with the likes of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
A dislocated shoulder suffered in the first round of the playoffs prevented Love from being involved as Cleveland were eventually beaten to the title by the Golden State Warriors, and he admits that the pressure is on him to do more while the injured Irving and Iman Shumpert miss the early stages of the season.
"Heading into this year, as far as comfort goes, I feel a lot better," the three-time All-Star told CBS Sports. "I think you will see me in the painted area a lot more. Offensive rebounding and defensive rebounds and mixing it up. That's something that I'm looking forward to –carrying the load when we have guys like Shump and Kyrie out right now.
"So we need to get healthy and then we'll start playing our brand of basketball, but for now, we're going to have different guys stepping up like you saw last year in the playoffs."
Cleveland meet the Chicago Bulls in their season opener next Wednesday.