The Cleveland Cavaliers need Kevin Love if they want to repeat. On Monday night he showed just how valuable he is.
On Monday night, NBA fans had the pleasure of experiencing the most exciting and nerve-wracking game of the season. The Cleveland Cavaliers edged out the rising Washington Wizards by a score of 140-135 in a game that needed an extra five minutes to decide the winner.
The game had it all–dramatic moments, big time shots, a few questionable calls. The atmosphere rivaled an Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 and it may have been a sneak preview at just how eventful a full seven-game series between these two might be.
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LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 32 points, 17 assists and seven rebounds, while also hitting one of the most difficult shots I have ever seen someone take and make, just moments after completely blowing a wide-open layup (he traveled before he missed the shot but it wasn’t called. Ball don’t lie).
Now hold on, did Kevin Love just launch a perfect chest pass to a guarded LeBron James from about 85 feet away?
The Wiz are playing much better basketball than they were in their first month or so that had them near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but they hadn’t beaten (or even played, for that matter) any of the top teams in the league since they’ve broken out their impressive winning stretch.
Despite the loss, the Wizards finally proved they are the Cavs’ biggest threat in the East and Kevin Love let everyone know that he’s ready for them.
Although, perhaps the most interesting story line from Monday night’s game was what was happening off the court.
An article in the New York Daily News reporting that LeBron was pushing the Cavaliers front office to trade Love for Carmelo Anthony gained some serious attention during the middle of the game, but without any legitimate sources being revealed.
After the game, LeBron told USA Today that he thinks the rumored article is “trash,” among other things.
“It’s trash. And the guy who wrote it is trash, too, for writing that. … It’s always about outside noise, and that’s just outside noise for us. We’ve got to focus on what needs to be done in order for us to continue to compete for a championship. We’ve got who we got. Our GM (David Griffin) will do a great job of figuring out if we need something else. But right now, we’re in a good place.”
The timing for the Daily News report couldn’t have come at a more awkward point, honestly. The Knicks continue to plummet, as they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 121-107 on Monday night while Kevin Love is thriving. It almost felt like a desperate cry for help for Knicks fans.
Any notion that the Cavs would want to trade Love, especially after what transpired on Monday, has been all but completely shot down.
Rumors will continue to circulate regarding Kevin Love (as they do every year, usually around this time, since he was traded to Cleveland) but he’s going to be Cav for at least the rest of this year and hopefully plenty more to come.