The Cleveland Cavaliers successfully avoided dropping two games at home to the Indiana Pacers last night behind a stellar performance from LeBron James. This team will need him to produce like he did in game two for the rest of the playoffs, but they also will need to lean heavy on one other player: Kevin Love.
There is no doubt LeBron will be doing most of the work when it comes to scoring for the Cavaliers in the playoffs, but Kevin Love will eventually have to show up and make his presence known to help Cleveland win this year’s finals. In game one Love scored only nine points, all coming from behind the three-point line. Although the Cavaliers like to see him hitting from beyond the arc he needs to be more productive in the paint as well. He did make up for it however in the rebounding department. Love pulled down 17 boards in game one, 14 on defense and the other three on offense. If Love could have added more points to his total game one could have swung a completely different way for Cleveland that night.
Kevin made up for his poor shooting performance in game two, racking up 15 points while pulling down eight rebounds in the contest. He shot two for six from three-point range which was only one less than he made in game two, but once again Cleveland wants to see him taking those shots regularly to add a spark to their offense. It was nice to see Love perform better on the offensive side of the ball, but there is one thing he will need to do to help Cleveland even more, and that’s making it to the free throw line. Over the series Love has shot only four free throws, making three. That is simply too little for a player of his caliber. Love needs to start creating more opportunities to help get him to the line, not only to help put points on the board, but to help put the Pacers into foul trouble to make things easier on the team. This is one thing that helped Cleveland in game 2 as Victor Oladipo took an early leave due to foul trouble. Love won’t be able to get Oladipo to foul out, but forcing the other team to sit their big men will open up doors for Love to go to work on the offensive side of the ball.
Kevin Love has been one of the Cavs best players this season and they will need him to start producing more if they want to go deep into the playoffs this year. LeBron will do what he does to make sure this team can make it to yet another NBA Finals, but he is going to need some help along the way. If Kevin Love can translate his stats from the regular season (17 ppg, 9 rpg) Cleveland will have no trouble in this year’s playoffs.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Cleveland Cavaliers article is published, fill out our email notification form.