LeBron James may take on a heavier workload down the stretch to make up for the absence of All-Star Kevin Love and the added wear and tear could prove costly in the Cleveland Cavaliers' quest to repeat as National Basketball Association champions.
With Love likely to miss six weeks, the No. 1 seed has never looked like a more realistic goal for the Celtics.
Love, a four-time NBA All-Star, experienced pain in Saturday's 125-109 home victory over Denver and was examined by James Rosneck on Sunday at the Cleveland Clinic. The belief was that the Cavs didn't like what they saw with the first MRI results, but perhaps a second doctor confirmed the bad news. Kev is out for an extended period of time. Per nbawowy, James goes from 30.4 to 31.3 without Love while Irving's usage skyrockets from 28.3 to 33.5.
"We're still going to go about our plan", Lue said, referring to the team's goal to drop James' playing time to 32-34 minutes a night. Just days after a signature moment feature Love tossing a hail mary to LeBron James to force overtime, Cleveland will have to figure things out without their all-star big man. Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds while shooting 42% from the field as an essential cog in Cleveland's offense.
"I'll rest when I retire", James said. As invaluable as he is on the backboards, the Cavaliers will miss his presence on the three-point line, and this is a team that's been without fellow marksman J.R. Smith since mid-December. "Guys have to step up and be ready to play". "And in the playoffs past year, we didn't lose a game at home until the Finals".
The King, in my very biased opinion of course, will be the best basketball player to have ever lived (objectively, I can't say he is right now). The move creates a roster spot and gives the Cavs another asset to use in future deals.