Kevin Love is the scapegoat.
The Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in a 2-0 hole against the Golden State Warriors after failing to match their opponent’s pace in miserable fashion Sunday, taking a 110-77 whipping.
But the blame isn’t going to fall on LeBron James for obvious reasons, even if he has played like a turnover machine. Neither will it land on the shoulders of Kyrie Irving, the guy drafted by Cleveland and pouring it on despite his lackluster defensive effort.
No, the blame will and always has gone to love, who might end up on the trade block if this keeps up, according to The Vertical’s Chris Mannix:
Two wins to go for Golden State, and perhaps two more games for Love in Cleveland. A humiliating defeat needs a scapegoat, and Love walks around these days with a wide target on his back. If changes are demanded this offseason, Love will be the asset pushed in trades needed to make them. As one league executive told The Vertical, “If they go out like this, I’m betting on a Kevin Love auction.”
Love is an odd scapegoat given the matchup because a player his size never performs well against the smaller Warriors. At the same time, though, the Cavaliers can’t avoid having him on the court.
It’s a perplexing dilemma for the Cavaliers, who got 17 points and 13 boards from Love in Game 1, only to get next to nothing from him Sunday due to a concussion.
The way the Finals have gone so far, a sweep wouldn’t be a shock. Love has always been the odd fit in Cleveland since his arrival, so another miserable showing—even against one of the greatest teams of all time—sounds like it will seal the deal for his tenure with the team.
Perhaps more interesting is which teams come calling wanting to take on the 27-year-old forward, who might get back to his usual self when he’s not the third option on an offense.