Report: Kevin Love likely plays, comes off bench for Cavaliers in Game 4

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There were two big questions about Kevin Love after the Cavaliers picked up their first win of the 2016 NBA Finals:

Would Love be cleared from the league’s concussion protocol for Game 4?

Would Tyronn Lue put him back in the starting lineup?

Yes. Then no. That according to Jason Llyod of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Kevin Love is expected to play Friday and it’s likely he will come off the bench in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, league sources told the Beacon Journal.

Love still has another medical examination he must pass on Friday before he is cleared from the league’s concussion protocol, but he took part in some on-court shooting drills Thursday and the team is privately confident he will be available to play. Coach Tyronn Lue would not discuss Love’s role on Thursday, insisting he hadn’t given it much thought. While one source stressed no final decision has been made yet, it’s likely at this point Love will be a reserve for the first time since April 14, 2010 – the final game of his second year in the league.

This would be the right move for the Cavaliers.

Kevin Love has great value against most NBA teams, but bigs who can’t move their feet well on the perimeter get eaten alive by the Warriors’ offense. That’s Love. This is similar to the situation Oklahoma City faced with Enes Kanter, who played a crucial role in the Thunder’s win over the Spurs in the second round but saw his minutes drastically slashed against the Warriors. The playoffs are all about matchups, and this is not a good one for Love.

Love’s return would add some needed depth for the Cavaliers — through three quarters in Game 3 the Cleveland bench had zero points. It was all the starters. It’s fair to question if that is sustainable. Love adds another scoring threat to the rotation.