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Tyronn Lue will not bring Kevin Love off the bench, when available

Kevin Love, Tyronn Lue

In the days leading up to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers have continued to tread lightly with their All-Star forward Kevin Love’s status for the contest.

Head coach Tyronn Lue has remained uncertain of Love’s status for the opening tilt of the series, but he has made clear that if the 29-year-old’s return to the floor would only see him play in the starting lineup and not off the bench, according to Ben Axelrod of WKYC Channel 3 News.

Love holds a tremendous amount of value and impact on how the Cavaliers play beyond LeBron James as he is the second fiddle in the offensive game plan. His presence on the floor allows for the Cavaliers to play more of a small-ball lineup while his shooting stretches the floor and he can be a huge factor on the glass. It would be key to have him on the floor to help combat what the Golden State Warriors bring with their star-studded starting lineup that has also shown a huge amount of versatility.

There is still much to sort through over the next day or so, but it’s clear that the Cavaliers have huge plans if Love is able to play as they will count on him to be one of the primary contributors. If he’s unable to play, Lue will likely turn to Jeff Green to step into his place in the starting lineup in order to maintain a small-ball lineup and stretch the floor beyond the 3-point line. Green showed up in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with an impactful performance with 19 points and eight rebounds in the spot start.

The Cavaliers will continue to monitor this situation around Love leading up to Game 1 in what could be a pivotal decision to open up the NBA Finals.

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