Shannon Sharpe reveals how Kevin Love’s injury puts a spotlight on Isaiah Thomas

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Reflecting on the Cleveland Cavaliers 125-114 loss against the Detroit Pistons, Shannon Sharpe explains how Kevin Love's injury puts pressure on Isaiah Thomas. Plus, Shannon explains why he's concerned about LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

- How much trouble are your Cavaliers in and Lebron's Cavaliers in?

SHANNON SHARPE: They are in a heap of trouble, because the simple fact is they can't play defense. They can score points. I mean, 114. They lost the game two weeks ago. They scored 124. The bad news was they gave up 148.

Every starter for Detroit had at least 19 point. Andre Drummond--

- I mean, they came real close to getting five 20-point starters, right?

SHANNON SHARPE: Yes! Yes! And Andre--

- How many times has that happened? Not very often.

SHANNON SHARPE: No, it's not very often that all five of your starters score at least 20. And then Andre Drummond had a monster night, 21, 22. Stanley Johnson had a career night.

Whatever ails you, on the offensive end, you hope the Cavaliers are coming up on your schedule very, very soon, because they play no defense. Everything's a layup line.

And now you don't play defense. You turn the ball over.

I ain't going to call nobody's name, but in the first three minutes of the ball game, one guy had four turnovers. And again, he was on a slip and slide.

- He was. He does not look right to me. He doesn't-- we're talking about Isaiah Thomas.

SHANNON SHARPE: And everybody keeps saying, well, wait till he gets healthy. Well, if I'm going to wait till he gets healthy, he should stop attempting things when he's not healthy. He's trying to make plays, he's trying to make moves as if he is healthy. And if he's not healthy, why are you trying to split the double team? Why are you trying to go behind your back when you're not capable of doing that right now?

- Good question.

SHANNON SHARPE: LeBron played exceptional in the first half.

- He did.

SHANNON SHARPE: And then he has five points in the second half. If you look at his numbers since Isaiah's been back, he's 23 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, when he was basically 28, 9, and 9.

- OK.

SHANNON SHARPE: And there's Kevin. They're already a small team. They need a rim protector.

Tristan-- see? People get these confused. Tristan Thompson is a rebounder.

- Yep.

SHANNON SHARPE: He's not a rim protector. DeAndre Jordan can rebound, and he can protect the rim. You saw Andre Drummond last night. There were several times the guy got beat, had gotten beat, and here come Andre Drummond to pin the shot to the back board.

- He did.

SHANNON SHARPE: And that's what they need. Now with Kevin Love out, what are you going to do? Put Channing Frye in the line-up?

- It looks like it.

SHANNON SHARPE: You are an exceptionally small ball club. And what it looks like to me is that because LeBron has not committed to the Cavs, nor should he, Dan Gilbert is hell bent on holding onto his bench. And moving forward, I think he's resigned to the fact that LeBron James will not be on his roster at the start of the 2018 season next year.

So he's like, I'm keeping this pick, and we're going to probably move forward with Isaiah Thomas. And they're going to be awful.

- Have you abandoned ship?

SHANNON SHARPE: I'm still there. Because as long as LeBron's there, I've got to stay there. But Kevin Love, I mean, I hope Isaiah Thomas understands. This Kevin Love injury, it just puts the spotlight even bigger on him. Because Kevin was the de facto number two guy. Although, you thought you were and you tried to shoot yourself into that position, you're it now.

- He also tried to talk himself into that position. So now back it up.

SHANNON SHARPE: Let me ask you a question. What's going on with him is Linsanity.

- Well, I mean, but he did do it for two years.

SHANNON SHARPE: Linsanity had a couple of good years.

- I mean, Linsanity is pretty good.


- But he had one sensational role, one run with the Knicks when he first hit the court and got his chance. That was some of the--

SHANNON SHARPE: He might be--

- Dare I say Tebow-esque?

SHANNON SHARPE: Yeah, yeah. But I'm just saying, if Isaiah is not where he is, where he needs to be, you should stop attempting things as if you're healthy, because you're hurting the ball club and you're hurting yourself.

- So by the way, before I answer my own question, do you find it odd that after LeBron picked his All-Stars that now three of his All-Stars have gone down to injury?


- We've got DeMarcus Cousins, and then we got John Wall. Now we've got Kevin Love. Those were all LeBron team guys, right?

SHANNON SHARPE: Now, he's got to put somebody else on there. What that means is that somebody else will probably--

- I mean, are guys looking over their shoulders now?

SHANNON SHARPE: I don't want to go play with you, LeBron.

- I don't know. I don't know, LeBron.

SHANNON SHARPE: Guys might be starting to turn down All-Stars.

- I don't know.

SHANNON SHARPE: We'll running out of players to pick in the East. You only got two left.

- I would agree.