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Kevin Love on Cavs overcoming 0-2 Finals deficit

Kevin Love Draymond

The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers — now facing a 0-2 deficit to the Golden State Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals, have made their way back to Northeast Ohio for Games 3 and 4.

During today’s media availabilty, Kristen Ledlow of NBA TV sat down with Kevin Love to ask what Cleveland’s immediate issues are heading into Game 3. The 6’10” rebounding machine mentioned physicality right away.

“Well, I think our physicality was great coming out in that first half (of Game 2),” Love said in his one-on-one exchange with Ledlow. “We felt like we played two and a half, maybe three good quarters of basketball, but just sustaining that throughout.”

Love is right on the money. The Cavs were indeed playing better for much of Game 2. In fact, it was a three point game at halftime, 67-64.

“This is a team that you can’t allow to go on runs,” Love said of the Warriors. “You gotta make them feel you. And throughout the game, we have to play with a certain pace. So it’s not just one thing or a couple of things. It’s not just a few plays here and there. It’s being able to sustain all the way throughout. And I think being out here in front of our home floor — when we take the floor tomorrow — we gotta be able to use that to our advantage.

“We saw what they did in Oakland — they were able to do that,” Love continued. “You know, winning at home, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Obviously, we tried to not make it easy for them, but we’re hoping for Game 3 that we come in and have a whole different mentality and we’re able to set the tone early on.”

Love has played quite well thus far in the series against the Warriors, averaging 21.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.0 steal in the two games played. When asked about his offensive mindset in this series, the former UCLA Bruin stand-out gave a humble reply.

“A lot of the time against this team, it’s filling in the gap so much of the time with our primary ball-handlers in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving being there,” Love said. “LeBron’s being a freight train, a locomotive — he’s playing and getting to the rim at will, finding guys for three’s. So I’m just trying to find my spots and hit the three, drive the lane, and continue to be aggressive in the paint.”

As most basketball know, the Cavs were down 0-2 in last year’s Finals matchup against the Warriors. Cleveland eventually stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to end their 52-year championship drought, but what about this season? When asked about what he feels is possible after enduring last year’s comeback, Love said “you gotta always believe.”

“You gotta always believe and feel that,” Love said confidently. “We need to feel like we can overcome this, and it all starts tomorrow night. We know that the crowd is gonna be into it. Cleveland is gonna have our back, and we’re gonna be ready to play.”

Game 3 is set to tip at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow night, with ABC having live broadcast coverage. We’ll just have to wait and see if Love and the Cavs can defend The Land.

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