With the departure of LeBron James from Cleveland, Love's future with the Cavaliers was cloudy, as it was unclear if management would opt for a rebuild or try to remain competitive. However, in signing Love to a significant extension, it's clear the organization is looking to remain in the playoff picture for 2018-19 and beyond. Despite missing time due to injuries, Love has made the All-Star game each of the past two seasons, averaging 18.3 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from deep. From a fantasy perspective, Love becoming the clear No. 1 option in Cleveland boosts his value significantly, and it's possible that we see flashes of the type of play that led him to break out in Minnesota.
Love finished with just 13 points (4-13 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), nine rebounds, two assists and one steal in 27 minutes during Friday's 108-85 loss in Game Four of the NBA Finals against the Warriors.
Love saved his worst game of the Finals for last as the Cavaliers fell in comprehensive fashion to the Warriors. Love had himself a strong finals showing prior to this game and should head into next season with a lot of confidence. LeBron James may or may not be back in Cleveland and if he does indeed decide to take his talents elsewhere, Love could find himself thrust into the role of alpha on what could be a lottery team. He has played this role before with great success and could be in line for a fantasy leap if this is the case. Stay tuned.
Love finished with 20 points (6-13 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 5-5 FT), 13 rebounds, three assists and one steal across 31 minutes during Cleveland's 110-102 loss to the Warriors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday.
For the third time in as many games to open the series, Love served as a pivotal source of complementary production alongside the superlative efforts of LeBron James. However, as has been the case on each of those occasions, his efforts ultimately fell short of helping the Cavaliers accomplish a victory. Love has encouragingly been much more consistent with his shot than during the conference finals versus the Celtics, when he ultimately drained just 37.5 percent of his attempts. The veteran forward has pushed that figure to 43.1 percent against the Warriors, but he'll likely need to be even better for Cleveland to salvage its season in Friday's Game 4.
Love delivered 22 points (7-18 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 5-5 FT), 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block across 35 minutes during Cleveland's 122-103 loss to the Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.
Love was an effective complementary presence alongside LeBron James, but neither star's effort was enough to get the Cavaliers on the board in the series. The 29-year-old has exceeded the 20-point mark in each of the first two games against the Warriors, although his shooting took a downturn Sunday. Love has especially struggled from distance over the first pair of contests, going just 4-for-16 from behind the arc. He'll look to continue his strong work on the boards while upping his scoring contributions when the Cavaliers attempt to cut their series deficit in half during Wednesday's Game 3.
Love will not be suspended for leaving the bench area during the final seconds of Thursday's Game 1 against Golden State, Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reports.
The closing seconds of Game 1 featured an altercation between Draymond Green and Tristan Thompson after Thompson fouled Shaun Livingston for taking a jumper, rather than letting the shot clock run out and concede a turnover. League officials determined that Love stepped onto the court to contest the initial foul, but moved back to the bench once the altercation between Green and Thompson took place.
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