Fresh off a loss to the explosive Houston Rockets, the Cleveland Cavaliers continue their uneven path to the postseason. While they’ve shown plenty of flashes of brilliance and LeBron James continues to churn out MVP numbers as per usual, the team has not been able to sustain their brilliance for extended periods of time.
Even with the additional talent GM David Griffin and the Cavs front office added in recent weeks, Cleveland will still need to finish strong in order to stave off the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards who sit 2.0 and 2.5 games back from the one seed, respectively. Injuries have played a large part in the Cavs shaky hold of the Eastern Conference this year as we’ve seen starters Kevin Love and J.R. Smith miss some time.
Cleveland has managed to get a little healthier as Smith is back in the fold and trying to get back into the flow of things. However, the bigger loss was Kevin Love who recently underwent surgery on his left knee and remains sidelined.
With the most crucial stretch of the NBA season upcoming, the Cavs will need everyone healthy especially a player of Love’s magnitude who played such a vital role to their championship run last season and works as a great compliment to James and guard Kyrie Irving. With an important road trip looming, things are looking optimistic regarding the health of Love as GM David Griffin expects the 4-time All-Star to be back in the lineup soon. Following from the Associated Press:
Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin anticipates forward Kevin Love will return during the team’s trip that begins Saturday.
Love had surgery on his left knee Feb. 14. The defending NBA champions are 7-6 since he was injured and have been plagued by defensive and rebounding issues without the four-time All-Star…
Griffin said Love participated in 3-on-3 drills Tuesday and the team will monitor how he responds before deciding on the next step.
Love had been enjoying his best season as a Cav yet, putting up averages of 20.0 points per game to go along with 11.1 rebounds. When healthy and involved in the offense, Love is the x-factor that gives this team an edge over just about anyone. His ability to spread the floor, ignite fast breaks, and rebound is key to the way Cleveland functions.
His return to the Cavaliers lineup is a much-needed change heading into the postseason. Moving forward, Smith and Love being back healthy should provide a huge boost to this deep Cleveland team looking to fend off the rest of the Eastern Conference elite, as Boston and Washington are both teams the Cavaliers would be wise not to take lightly.
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