The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost four of their last six games, but help is reportedly on the way.
On Monday, Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer reported All-Star forward Kevin Love could return from his broken left hand in two to three weeks and is “healing well.”
Love has been out since Jan. 30 with a fractured fifth metacarpal, and the Cavaliers find themselves occupying the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference as they struggle to establish consistency.
The five-time All-Star is not the go-to scorer he was on the Minnesota Timberwolves early in his career thanks to the presence of LeBron James (and Kyrie Irving in seasons past), but he is still a critical part of Cleveland’s offense and its leading rebounder.
Love is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season after posting 19.0 points and 11.1 boards a night in 2016-17.
Outside of serving as a double-double threat on any given night, Love’s return would give LeBron James a familiar face to play alongside heading into the stretch run of the season. Cleveland’s roster has undergone a significant overhaul this season, as it traded away Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Dwyane Wade and Iman Shumpert, acquiring Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and George Hill in their place.
Love recently touched on serving as a veteran leader with so many new faces when discussing his eventual return, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com: “Between ‘Bron and myself, JR and Tristan, we have guys who have been here and know exactly what to expect moving forward. So it’s on us to bring everybody along and have veteran guys push maybe the younger guys or the new guys through the process.”
The UCLA product is a primary reason the Cavaliers made the last three NBA Finals, and they should have him back before the postseason this year as he continues to recover from his broken hand.