For the first time since second week of the season, there is a possibility that Kevin Love may play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The face of the franchise is listed as questionable as the team travels to Washington to take on the Wizards. If he is unable to play Friday night, he may be able to suit up Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers. If he plays tonight, however, he would not play tomorrow:
Kevin Love may play tonight. He has only played four games all year— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) February 8, 2019
Assuming Love does play tonight against the Wizards, he would not play Saturday against the Pacers— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) February 8, 2019
Following the trade deadline, there has been a bit of an exodus of talent for the Cavs. While both Rodney Hood and Alec Burks could be inconsistent at times, they were by far the best guards on the roster. Being able to counter their absence with the return of Love should help the team be somewhat watchable.
Whenever Love does return, I anticipate the team to be extra careful with him. Managing his minutes and resting him if he’s even a little banged up is in the best interest of both Love and the team.
The Cavs aren’t playing for this season, so keeping Love healthy and not trying to run him into the ground in an attempt to win games shouldn’t be the priority. Whatever minutes Love does play should be alongside Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman, in order to help develop chemistry and assist in their development.
For those worried about lottery odds, there’s only 28 games left in the season. It’ll take Love time to get back into game shape, and even then it likely wouldn’t be enough to turn this into a .500 team. There’s almost no chance the Cavs could fall to worse than the fourth best lottery odds, which would only reduce their chances at a top pick by 1.5 percent. So at this point it’s probably best to not worry about results and enjoy the rest of the season for whatever it is.