Aside from the JR Smith soup-throwing incident, the Cavaliers are mainly dealing with the pending return of Kevin Love from a fractured left hand.
Love believes he’ll return before the team-projected eight-week recovery period. He’s already going through shooting drills without issue. If he beats the timeline by two weeks, he’ll have roughly 14 games to whip himself back into game shape before the playoffs begin.
The injury happened on Jan. 30 and since then the Cavs have remade their rotation from a pair of trades. Love hasn’t had the chance to blend with his new teammates but says he doesn’t believe it’ll be an issue. The Cavs can use his 18.7 points and 9.4 rebounds as they continue to chase the Raptors and Celtics in the Eastern Conference standings.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN examined Love and his impact and spoke to Love:
Love is one of four remaining members of the Cavs' 2016 championship team, along with LeBron James, JR Smith and Tristan Thompson. He believes that core gives the new-look Cavs enough experience to put things together quickly for a deep postseason run.
"Between 'Bron and myself, JR and Tristan, we have guys who have been here and know exactly what to expect moving forward," Love said. "So it's on us to bring everybody along and have veteran guys push maybe the younger guys or the new guys through the process.
"Having some new blood and some new faces in some ways can be a good thing because they're going to be very hungry and want to get on that quick learning curve to make it so we have a big run."