Feb. 11, 2017
Love Out, Don't Panic
Earlier today it was announced that Kevin Love will undergo knee surgery and will be sidelined for 6 weeks. In 40 games this season, Love has played the best basketball of his Cavalier career, averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds. He was named an All-Star for the first time since he was with the Timberwolves in 2014.
Despite Love's injury, the Raptors acquisition of Serge Ibaka, and the resurgence of the Washington Wizards, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still the undisputed favorites in the Eastern Conference. Whether they get the one seed or not is another argument - and an irrelevant one at that. The most important thing for the Cavs is to be healthy come playoff time. As long as Kevin Love has a few games prior to the postseason to shake out any kinks that he may have after his six-week layoff, it should be smooth sailing for Cleveland in the postseason.
With that being said, Love's injury should serve as a reminder to Tyronn Lue that his team's health is priority number one. Right now, LeBron James is leading the NBA in minutes per game (37.6 MPG). For what? There is no need to exhaust the best player in the world in inconsequential regular season games. He should be playing sparingly (25-30 minutes a night) and conserving energy, not expending every last ounce.
Kyrie and LeBron should be able to keep the Cavaliers afloat while Kevin Love is sidelined, but this injury to Love is about more than that. As much as we all think LeBron James is immortal, that just isn't the case. While he has played in more than 75 games in all but one of his thirteen seasons in the NBA, it is unfair to ask LeBron to play the number of minutes that he has played thus far this season. The tread on his tires is wearing thin. The bottom-line is this: LeBron needs to be rested for the postseason. It's as simple as that.