The failure of Kevin Love to have a big impact on the 2016 NBA Finals isn’t the script anybody had written. Earlier in the year LeBron James said the Cleveland offense went through Love first. And after missing last year’s Finals with a shoulder injury, Love’s presence was considered a potential difference maker in the 2016 Warriors-Cavaliers redux. In Game 5 Love had two points. Many fans are reminded of another big man who could hit long jumpers but had to play the third wheel in a Big 3 with LeBron James — Heat forward Chris Bosh. Bosh won two championships with James and Dwyane Wade in Miami.
But there’s a big difference between Bosh and Love. Though Bosh didn’t score a single point in the Game 7 when the Heat beat the Spurs for the 2014 NBA crown, he still contributed to the Heat in ways that Love hasn’t been able to. Bosh’s speed, length and agility allowed him to defend in the post and on the wing, often against the opponent’s top scoring threat. The chances of the Cavaliers having Kevin Love guard the Warriors chief scoring threat are slim. In fact it’s been hard for Coach Lue to find any player for Love to guard effectively. So when Love’s not scoring he doesn’t provide the sort of help to James and Kyrie Irving that Bosh gave to James and Wade. Love is still a very skilled offensive player who could score 28 points in the next game and change the narrative. But comparisons to Bosh don’t really fly because defensively there’s no comparison.