The Cleveland Cavaliers showed their true potential in Game 3’s blowout of the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. However, it was without star forward Kevin Love and there are now NBA rumors that the Cavs might start Richard Jefferson again at the forward spot even if Love is cleared from his injury for Game 4 on Friday.
Love has struggled in the 2016 NBA Finals with his numbers down compared to the first three series against the Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors. In the championship series, Love has averaged just 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds after the first two games. Versus the Pistons, he averaged 18.8 points and 12.0 rebounds, versus the Hawks, he averaged 19.0 points and 13.5 rebounds and versus the Raptors, Love averaged 15.2 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Love has also been criticized for his defensive effort and is a problem on on the defensive side against Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. In Games 1 and 2, both players found ways to abuse Love inside and outside and it was clear that he can’t keep up with the Warriors stars.
After Game 3’s dominating performance against the Warriors, are the Cavaliers a better team without Kevin Love in the line-up? Would the Cavaliers play better if they bring the star power forward off the bench since Richard Jefferson as a starter worked for LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and company?
Jefferson as a starter in Game 3 had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals as the Cavs beat the Warriors, 120-90. Game 4 is still in Cleveland.
NBA rumors has already started even during these NBA Finals that Kevin Love might be shipped to various teams this summer. Would this also serve as a distraction for the Cavaliers in Game 4?