Coach K Expects Big Things from Love
The fact that (Mike) Krzyzewski was so eager to discuss the scene with (Kevin) Love should tell you that the coach clearly doesn’t see it as an overreaction. As he explains it now, heading into Tuesday’s Group A game against overmatched Tunisia, Coach K got caught up in the moment and lost track of how little was actually at stake at that juncture because he’d been wanting so badly to see something happen on the floor — anything — to get a struggling Love going.
“For each guy on our team, you’re always looking for ways to get them closer to their ego [and comfort level] that they play with on their parent clubs,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s still the toughest thing: to get them to play at that level when they’re playing for the United States.
“But sometimes for a player, one play can break down the dam.”
And it was that sequence, Krzyzewski believes, that enabled Love to break through.
The Timberwolves’ go-to guy finished with nine rebounds in that exhibition finale against Spain, then scored an aggressive 14 points in just more than 14 minutes in Team USA’s rout of France in Sunday’s Group A Olympic opener.
Just like that, Love has forced his way back into a rotation that needs every contribution he can muster, since Love was always going to be counted on to serve as the first big man off the bench for a size-deficient Team USA if (when?) Tyson Chandler finds foul trouble.