As the Cavaliers’ chances against the Boston Celtics this Sunday in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals remains up in the air, the team knows for certain they will be without All-Star forward Kevin Love.
Announcing Saturday, the team confirmed Love sustained a concussion in game 6 during his collision with Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum. According to league rules, Love will not be allowed to return to the court until he satisfies the mandated concussion protocol.
Love has been averaging roughly 14 points and 10 rebounds this post season, but only shooting 38.8 percent from the field and hasn’t appeared nearly as impactful as his five All-Star appearances suggest. As the defacto second best player on the Cavs’ roster, Love could definitely be playing better, but that could easily be said for the majority of his teammates.
Role players often play better at home, and this series has been the prime example of that theory. With the often pass first leader of the Cavaliers LeBron James being compelled to a 46 point performance in game 6 with the injury to Love, he should expect a similar, if not greater load in the final game of this series. Very rarely do teams that experience a mid-season shakeup like the Cavs did this past season have any hopes of reaching the finals, but if this team expects to move on, they will need at worst a solid contribution from it’s main rotation, specifically from forwards Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr. who will be filling in for Love.