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Should the Cavs Sit Kevin Love?

The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won a game in the NBA Finals. And, it was without the help of one their Big Three.

Kevin Love did not pass the Cavs’ and NBA’s concussion protocol after taking an elbow in Game 2 from Harrison Barnes.

But Cleveland didn’t need him. The team came out aggressive and set the tone early. Kyrie scored as much as the Warriors in the first quarter (16 points) and the Cavs jumped out to a 17 point lead.

Golden State crept back into but eventually the Cavaliers upped that lead into the 20s and eventually won by 30.

All of this without Kevin Love, who they traded away two number one overall picks for.

So should Cleveland sit Kevin Love, or, at the least, bring him off the bench for short stretches?

In my opinion, I don’t think you can have one of the top 20 players just sitting on your bench during the NBA Finals.

But, I think you have to limit his minutes. Love was only -8 in each of the first two games, which is better than the other starters. He did miss some of Game 2 after being hit by that elbow.

I would limit his minutes. I would scale them down. I wouldn’t start Love. Definitely not after seeing the way Richard Jefferson stepped up and contributed in his absence.

Love is a great player. He garnered a five-year, $110 million contract in 2015, so he still has four years remaining. He averaged 20 points and 12 boards in three different seasons with the Wolves.

But, K-Love doesn’t have to be that same player with Cleveland. And, he hasn’t been. He has averaged 16 points and just under 10 boards since being traded. Still solid numbers for the number three guy on a team.

However, against the Warriors, who play small ball, Love just isn’t doing much except hurting the team.

Love can’t move around on the pick and rolls. He isn’t quick enough to recover when he gets beat. And he just isn’t as athletic as the small ball Warriors, who’s tallest player is usually Draymond at 6’7. At 6’10 and a bit thicker, he just isn’t quick enough to guard him or switch on the ball screens.

I do think that Cavs coach Tyronn Lue has to play him. Bring Love off the bench and let him knock down a few threes, get him in a rhythm and get him out of there. Repeat.

He can still leave a print on the game, just in small doses to keep the Warriors from getting hot and going on a run.

I guess in Game 4 on Friday we will see what Lue and the Cavs decide to do. I know what I would do, but sometimes it’s easier to play the superstar then sit him, even if it’s hurting the team.

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