The Cleveland Cavaliers are getting an important boost before their game 1 showdown with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s concussion protocol and has been activated for game 1 of the NBA Finals. Love originally had to exit game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals after a head-to-head collision with Jayson Tatum.
Love had been making progress in the previous few days. He participated in shooting drills with the Cavs on Wednesday.
Tyronn Lue had indicated that if Love were to be activated for game 1, he would return to the starting lineup. Jeff Green had been inserted into that starting lineup while Love was sidelined and played really well. Green will now return to a reserve role as the Cavs face by far their most daunting challenge of these playoffs.
Love provides the Cavs with a strong rebounding presence and can stretch the opposing defense with his outside shooting prowess. He’s the only player on the Cavs besides LeBron James this postseason to average double-digit points per game.
Love also leads his squad in rebounds per game these playoffs. During the regular season, he had the highest Defensive Rebound Percentage on the team and ranked 10th in the entire league in that same category.
Love has had some shooting woes these playoffs, though. In 17 postseason games thus far, he’s shooting just 38.8% on field goals and just 34.6% from 3-point range.
Those totals are significantly down from his regular season output when he shot 45.8% on field goals and 41.5% on 3-pointers.
He’s an important piece for the Cavs, and it will be fascinating to see what type of impact he makes in game 1. The Warriors are deservedly opening this series as huge favorites, and even the return of Love should not waver their confidence that they can win game 1 in Oakland.