After starting multiple games in the NBA Finals and playing real minutes on a conference champion, many Cleveland Cavaliers fans believe it was a mistake to let the Cleveland legend, Kevin Love, go. Love joined the Miami Heat late in the season after the Cavs bought him out, and he has played extremely well.
During the Boston Celtics series, Love had no role with the guard-heavy Celtics and found himself playing under 15 minutes a night. After getting zero minutes in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Love has started the last three games and put up 24 points and 16 rebounds in 42 minutes. Taking 16 threes in three games has stretched the Denver Nuggets’ defense out and taken their bigger bodies away from the rim.
Kevin Love’s Postseason Impact
Despite his lack of defense, Love’s combination of size and shooting along with his rebounding and outlet pass ability has reinserted him into the Miami Heat’s rotation. Regardless of how the series ends, Love has been a great depth piece for Erik Spoelstra and gives him variety in his lineups. Seven times this playoff run Love has played 20 minutes, playing as many as 32 minutes in game five versus the Milwaukee Bucks where he put up 15 points and 12 rebounds on 5-11 shooting from three.
Seeing Kevin Love start in the NBA Finals and watching him have multiple impactful games during this playoff run makes it seem confusing on the surface how a first-round exit couldn’t figure out how to utilize him. The different Heat role players stepping up and having big moments in the postseason is the number one reason they are on this magical run, and Kevin Love is one of those role players. So that poses the tough question: did the Cavs make a mistake letting Kevin Love go?