LeBron James met with members of the media after the Cleveland Cavaliers practice on Tuesday afternoon. The major point of discussion was how the Cavs would move on without Kevin Love for possibly the rest of the postseason.
“He’s a huge part of our team, he brings so much to our team. So it’s a big blow for us,” said James of Love. “You can never prepare for major role guys, major players, being out.
One our Big Three is out for potentially the rest of the postseason and everyone has to pick up what they’re capable of doing.”
Players like Mike Miller, James Jones, Shawn Marion and even Joe Harris are expected to join the lineup, at least for the next two games, as Love recovers from his shoulder injury and as J.R. Smith serves his two game suspension for whacking Jae Crowder across the face in Game 4. Smith feared a suspension, but the Cavs seem to have gotten lucky with Crowder not having a severe injury and with Smith only getting a suspension of two games.
“This is the moment he (Love) has been waiting for and for a freak injury like that to happen on a freak play. I feel bad for him.”
“We have guys who have played that have played major roles on major playoff teams and haven’t played significant roles up to this point, but things are gonna change now. I think our guys are mentally preparing themselves for the next challenge.”
The team has a whole new outlook now with less height or floor spacing and more older wing players. When LeBron was in Miami, the Heat lost Chris Bosh to an abdominal strain after Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During Bosh’s absence, LeBron took to playing in the post more often as a power forward as the Heat went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers. Bosh would surprisingly return to the lineup in the next series and help the Heat reach the NBA Finals, where they would win the NBA Championship.
Cavs fans are hoping that, somehow, Love’s shoulder can muster an incredible healing ability and allow him to return to help the Cavs deliver an NBA championship. With his original diagnosis being anywhere from four-to-six weeks, there’s a glimmer of hope that he will, albeit unlikely.
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When asked if the team has to change what they do now, especially in first two games without both Love and Smith, James responded with:
“I think it’ll change a little bit. Those two are our two biggest spacers on our team and it will change depending on the lineups.”
“We all have to pick out own game up,” says James. We can’t fill Kevin’s shoes you can’t do that. He’s special for a reason.”