Kevin Love to return for Cavaliers after two-game absence, says rest ‘had nothing to do with’ prior back issues

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Kevin Love has missed the last two games for the Cavaliers simply due to rest, but some were concerned that the back issues he dealt with earlier in the season were the real reason why.

Love insists that’s not the case.

Speaking to reporters at shootaround in advance of his return to the lineup for Wednesday night’s contest against the Nets, Love said the time off came as a result of a request from his head coach.

From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:

“Me resting had nothing to do with my back,” Love said Wednesday morning. “Coach (David Blatt) had approached me. I was playing heavy minutes and he came to me and asked if I’d sit a game or two and that’s all it was.” …

Blatt previously said Love came to him to ask for rest. Love said Wednesday it was Blatt who came to him with the idea. Either way, Love said he thinks his five days off will have a positive effect.

“I feel good. Anytime you take a couple days and a couple games in this part of the season, you come back feeling a little bit better,” Love said. “Everybody is focusing on their health; everyone wants to have a full roster come playoff time. This is my first experience going through it.”

Love, of course, has never been on a team that’s made the playoffs, which was a primary reason for forcing a trade from the Timberwolves this past summer after playing there for his first six NBA seasons.

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The Cavaliers have 13 games left in the regular season, which is a good chunk of time to see if they can figure out ways to better incorporate Love into the offense, instead of having him play a stretch-four role that doesn’t come close to maximizing his abilities.