Jim Mone/Associated Press
When healthy, Love is one of the better frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference and offers the Cavaliers a matchup problem as a big man who can extend his game beyond the three-point line. The five-time All-Star is averaging 17.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season as Cleveland attempts to reach its fourth straight NBA Finals.
The UCLA product is no longer the primary option he was on the Minnesota Timberwolves but he still stuffed the stat sheet last season as well with 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game.
Love’s return takes on even more importance because Tristan Thompson (ankle injury) and Larry Nance Jr. (hamstring issues) have each missed time lately, leaving the frontcourt depleted during the stretch run of the season.
Having Love back in the lineup will give the Cavaliers someone who can take the offensive pressure off James’ shoulders for stretches and a presence on the glass as Cleveland—which occupies the Eastern Conference’s No. 3 seed but is just a half-game ahead of the Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards—battles for playoff positioning.