After not receiving a technical foul throughout the entire 2017-18 NBA season, Kevin Love was hit with one in Wednesday night’s opener. What was the line that got the Cleveland Cavaliers forward in trouble?
“Come on,” according to Love.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, those two words were enough for the referee to put his foot down with Love. But while the infraction seems petty, the Cavs big man was able to see some humor in the situation. Reflecting to Vardon with the following sentiment:
“Whitest thing I could’ve said,” Love said.
However it wasn’t all bad for Love and the refs on Wednesday night. Love shot 14 free throws on the night, something that has only happened twice during the past four seasons in Cleveland. Both times he reached that figure came in November of last season.
With no LeBron James and no Kyrie Irving, Love may get back to the star level calls other players of his stature are accustomed to. When you have multiple stars on a team, it’s tough to give them all the star treatment without the advantage feeling somewhat overwhelming.
Rust and the defense Toronto played overall likely were the main contributors to Love’s poor night from the field. The Raptors were the fifth best team defensively last season and replaced one of their worst defenders with both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. A reality that could have made opening night seem a little worse for the Cavaliers than it truly is.