Kevin Love was a double-double monster in Minnesota, a 6’10” rebounding machine with UCLA pedigree who could score inside and out. Two years ago, Cleveland went after Love the way Love once went after rebounds, believing him to be the missing piece of a puzzle that had been mostly solved by the return of his eminence, LeBron James. The Cavs traded the #1 pick for Love. His last year in Minnesota Love averaged 26 points and 12.5 rebounds a game. Year before that he grabbed 14 boards per.
But those numbers dropped dramatically in Cleveland, with Love averaging about 16 points and less than ten rebounds per game. Yet James repeatedly said how important Love is to the Cavs success. Against the Golden State Warriors, however, Love hasn’t looked athletic enough to compete. In Game 2, before his head injury, multiple Love post moves down close to the basket just resulted in frustration, Draymond Green seeming too strong and quick for Love. Against the Warriors it’s harder for Love to get his shot either inside or out — and he looks increasingly like the game has speeded up, gotten stronger, and passed him by. Defensively, he’s not helping either. Though there he’s like the rest of the Cavaliers. Cleveland will need a different Love in Game 3.