The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without their All-Star forward in Game 7 on Sunday night versus Boston.
Saturday afternoon, Kevin Love was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Love collided heads with Celtics’ Jayson Tatum in the first quarter of Game 6.
Even without Love, the Cavs would go onto defeat Boston in Game 6 109-99.
So, are the Cavaliers better without Kevin Love?
Love has been a complete liability on the defensive end of the floor this series. He cannot keep up with the speed of Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown and has a very tough time defending Al Horford and Aron Baynes in the post. The Celtics are a bad matchup for Love.
With that being said, a team is rarely better when they lose their second scoring option. Although Love has struggled, he’s still an All-Star talent and could occasionally give you good offense, floor spacing and spot-up shooting. He does things well and that’s not a question.
A positive relation is that Love on the bench gives the other Cavaliers a chance to play meaningful minutes.
For the Cavs, Jeff Green played very well in Game 6. Larry Nance Jr. has also played and provided quality minutes. When coach Tyronn Lue allows the role players to develop a rhythm, good things can happen. If the bench mob is going to get minutes, they need to develop a rhythm and that’s what the absence of Love gives this team.
Lue is now forced to utilize his bench for extended minutes without Love. If Green and Nance Jr. play well, this could provide a great spark for the Cavaliers. Altogether, these two guys are more physical than Love. They’re able to battle with Horford, Baynes and Marcus Morris. If Green and Nance Jr. play well, the Cavs are in very good shape.
So, are the Cavs better without Love? The short answer is no. But when you dig a little deeper, the Cavs are much more athletic and physical with Love in a suit.