Cavs F/C Kevin Love finally showed up to the party during the Cavs’ Game 2 win Thursday against the Toronto Raptors. Love has long been criticized for his lack of production in the playoffs despite averages of 17.1 PPG and 10 RPG during his four seasons in a Cavaliers uniform.
Love contributed 31 points on 11-21 from the field while also grabbing 11 rebounds and posting a +21 plus/minus rating, the highest on the team. A stark contrast to his previous performances, Love’s contributions are key to getting the team to reach their goals because up until Thursday night, LeBron James had been essentially carrying the team on his back. Comparisons to James’ old Cavs teams are not welcomed but are most certainly warranted given how the team performed.
The next two games in the series will be held in Cleveland and as the Cavs have fully grabbed a hold of home court advantage, Love and other players that have not consistently produced will look to get in a groove with the home court there to back them.
Role players usually perform better at home, so look for more of Jeff Green, Kyle Korver and JR Smith who collectively added 34 points and shot 7-11 from the perimeter. While good games from these players are important, Love has been the number two scoring option all year after the loss of Kyrie Irving and it is essential for him to contribute if this team will succeed. As seen in the Pacers series, if James gets even just a little bit of help this team will be just fine.
Over the past two games, when James gets some help from other players, this team is virtually unbeatable. Up 2-0 with the next two at home, the Cavs will look to put away the Raptors for a third-straight year.
Good luck to Philadelphia and Boston because whoever wins that series will have to face The King and it looks as if the rest of the team is coming together at just the right moment. Six wins in the book already this postseason, only 10 more to go until we raise another championship banner.
LeBron is The King but he cannot do it alone. Whatever it takes, right?