Top 5 Cleveland Cavaliers Storylines with 1 Month Left in Regular Season
- Author: Loretta Pittman Mar 19, 2017,
Mar 19, 2017, 0:15
Love missed the last 13 games and was injured just four games after his 39 points eruption.
The injury cost Love 13 games during his best season yet with Cleveland. The fourth seed in the Western Conference going into the night, the Jazz had won six of their last seven games.
It was the Jazz's offense that really prevented them from winning the second and toughest game of this four-game road trip.
The preliminary talks yesterday had a timeline of Kevin Love hoping to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers' lineup by the weekend.
While Love was gone, the Cavaliers were routinely beaten on the boards, despite Tristan Thompson's best efforts. That good news was offset in the fourth quarter, however, when it was announced that Kyrie Irving had stiffness in his left knee and Iman Shumpert had a sprained shoulder. He accounted for six turnovers as well, but the Cavs were able to survive them. Before his injury, the team was 20th in the league, with a defensive rating of 106.3.
Jazz fans have known this truth for quite some time now, especially of late as Utah has been playing quite well, but as LeBron mentioned, given Utah's small market status and overall lack of recognition on national media, many casual fans don't even realize that the Jazz are well on their way to home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"I'm disappointed. I just don't like how we lost", Snyder said, pointing out the absence of those two key players while also lamenting the lack of execution and mental precision. While James is revered by some and perceived as a villain by others, regardless of any opinion of him there's simply no denying his basketball prowess. In fact, head coach Tyronn Lue had to send the ball boy out to get GM David Griffin's permission to even bring him into the game.
Either way, Love is surely glad to be back.
James led the way for the Cavs, winners of two in a row to improve to 45-22, with 33 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. "But it's just good to have him back on the floor".
It's true that the Cavaliers' slump has been mostly caused by their defense, third-worst in the league since the All-Star break, but Love's return will help return a sense of normalcy to the roster. While he probably won't actually win the MVP award this season, this game showcased precisely why no matter what the voters say, LeBron James is the most valuable player in the National Basketball Association.
After a back and forth three quarters, the game was knotted up at 67 heading into the fourth.
The former Jazz to Cleveland movement began with Jefferson, however.
Cleveland plays the Clippers on Saturday and the Lakers on Sunday.