Kevin Love hasn’t had the strongest playoff appearances so far, but he says a hand injury that he sustained during Game 2 of the Cavaliers’ opening round series with the Indiana Pacers has nothing to do with it.
Through four games, Love is still pulling down 10.5 rebounds per game, but averaging just 12.0 points on 36.2 percent shooting from the field.
In Game 2 of the series, Love injured his left thumb breaking up a pass. It’s the same hand he broke earlier in the year, but he says the thumb has not held him back this series.
“Not so much,” Love said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’ve been able to get up a lot of shots. I think initially it was painful in the few days that followed, but now it’s kind of subsided, and just getting the feeling back in my left thumb.”
Love did say, however, that early foul trouble in Sunday’s Game 4 affected his rhythm. He scored just five points on 2-of-10 shooting. And even a basic eye test shows that Love has struggled all series when going up against Indiana’s Thaddeus Young.
All series, Young has done a good job of not allowing Love to get positioning, and keeping him from getting the shots he wants and feels comfortable taking.
“He’s a good defender,” Love said of Young. “It’s definitely been a physical series so far. But you know, Thad has always been a guy that can guard multiple positions and you gotta give him credit.”
All season, Love has done a good job at taking advantage of mismatches-- he’s had to since being converted to a center early on in the year. But if the Cavs are going to advance in the playoffs, they are going to need Love to find his rhythm sooner rather than later, no matter what the root cause is.