Trailing 2-0 in the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers face a must-win scenario Wednesday night, but have just learned that they will need to do it without Kevin Love. Their star power forward took a vicious shot to the back of the head while going for a rebound in the second quarter of Game 2, resulting in a concussion, and hasn’t been medically cleared to return to the court.
Love had a solid 17 points and 13 rebounds in Game 1, but was completely neutralized in 21 minutes of action in Game 2 (5 points, 3 rebounds) before exiting the game.
While Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue has yet to announce who will fill Love’s absence in the starting lineup, the likely choice is veteran Channing Frye. The stretch-four offers much of the same shooting and floor spacing as Love, and has shot an astounding 56.5 percent from beyond the arc this postseason.
Although Love won’t be taking the court for Game 3, he’s expected to be cleared for Game 4. With that in mind, Cleveland has to hope the series will be 2-1 when Love returns Friday night.