Kevin Love underwent arthroscopic knee surgery yesterday and could be out up to 6 weeks or more, according to the team. Uh-oh!!
That’s a huge blow to a team that was already struggling to hold on to the top spot in the East. A huge blow to a team that LeBron James said was “top heavy as bleep.”
LeBron, Kyrie and Love were doing all the heavy lifting themselves, because no one else has stepped up consistently to take any pressure off the big three and because they were already busted up even before Love went down.
Even with Love, LeBron and Kyrie were already playing way more minutes than the team wanted them to. And without Love for the next 20 games, or so, they figure to play even more. Which is a huge problem.
Obviously the regular season isn’t the thing, the postseason is. The regular season is just a means to an end: the only reason it matters is to secure the top seed in the conference and the homecourt that comes along with it. But now, you have to ask, at what cost. Without Love, LeBron and Kyrie could kill themselves to get that one seed, but if they gas out trying to do it, what’s the point. If I’m the Cavs, I’d start to dial back their minutes, even if it does cost them the one seed. A healthy and sound LeBron, and Kyrie is more important than the top seed.
Even though the Celtics and Wizards are coming fast, and the Hawks and Raptors are still a factor, the Cavs can win on the road in the East if they have to. But they’re not going to be able to defend their title if LeBron is beaten down and sitting on empty when the finals start. They have to get LeBron and Kyrie some rest even if it does cost them the one seed. And then they have to hope they get Love back, and he’s near what he’s been throughout the season. And someone else on that roster is going to have to step up consistently and take the pressure off the big three, which is now a big two, or they won’t defend their title.
LeBron and Kyrie aren’t going to repeat playing two on five.