Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program and will be available to play on Thursday night in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals, the Cavaliers announced today in a press release.
It’s big news for the Cavaliers, who had been without Love since he exited Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston and entered the NBA’s concussion protocol. During this year’s playoffs, the veteran power forward has been Cleveland’s second-leading scorer (13.9) and top rebounder (10.0 RPG).
It’s not clear how many minutes Love might play in Game 1, but I’d expect him to start alongside LeBron James and Tristan Thompson in the frontcourt. Head coach Tyronn Lue may get creative as he determines how best to match up with the defending-champion Warriors, but indicated on Wednesday that Love would start if he’s healthy.
While the Cavaliers will get Love back in their lineup, the Warriors will be without key forward Andre Iguodala for Game 1. Iguodala, who continues to battle a lateral left leg contusion, will be re-evaluated prior to Game 2.