Breaking: Kevin Love available for Game 1 of NBA Finals
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was placed in concussion protocol after banging heads with Boston Celtics guard Jayson Tatum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Love was held out of Sunday’s series-clinching win in Beantown due to the collision, but he was cleared to play tonight against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Finals.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) May 31, 2018
Love was excused from Finals media day on Thursday, but he did participate in shooting drills with his teammates during the open portion of Cleveland’s practice session, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue elected to give Jeff Green extra playing time in Love’s absence. The decision paid off, as Green averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per outing in Cleveland’s wins over Boston in Games 6 and 7.
Though Green has played well for the Cavs, coach Lue noted that Love would start against the Warriors if he clears protocol.
Without a doubt, Love is an important part of Cleveland’s rotation. The former UCLA standout has played in 17 games with the Cavs this offseason, averaging 13.9 points on 38.8 percent shooting from the field (34.6 percent from beyond the arc), 10.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 31.0 minutes per game.
Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled to tip at 9:00 p.m. EST inside Oracle Arena. ABC will have live broadcast coverage.