Tha Sports Junkies 101

Cavaliers Must Trade Love to Save Defense

Keving Love Trade Love Photo credit to Erik Drost via Flickr


Trade Love, Save Defense

The three-time defending Eastern Conference Champs are in trouble, and in the worst way possible. The Cavaliers’ defense has been atrocious all year. Their lack of rim protection and a hustle big that controls the glass, are some key determinants in their downfall. This has been the case since coach Tyronn Lue moved Kevin Love to center, and had Tristan Thompson come off the bench. So to me the solution is simple. Cleveland must trade Love too save its defense. And oh how much of a reality this has become.

Cleveland’s Recent Defensive Struggles

The Cavaliers have been on a downward spiral since their Christmas Day bout with the Golden State Warriors. Dating back to December 25, Cleveland’s a woeful 3-10, with two of their wins coming against the worst team in the NBA, the Orlando Magic. They are now six games back of the Boston Celtics for the top

Their defense has let up 100+ points in 11 of the 13 games during this span. Which is one of their main reasons for their downfall. Cleveland is ranked 29th in defensive rating, which currently stands at 109.9. And their rebounding hasn’t been much better. They currently rank 25th in total rebound percentage. Lack of rebounding creates extra opportunities for the opposite team, which in terms has hurt the Cavs.

ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups explained why Cleveland has been struggling on defense so mightily.

All of these phases have played a key part in the teams demise, as these issues have been evident all season long, and they have even gotten worse. On Saturday, Cleveland allowed 148 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder… in REGULATION. And while you can’t put all of the blame on one player or coach Lue, it seems evident that change is needed in Cleveland, and it’s starting to look like Kevin Love could be the one to go.

Trade Love

There have been many rumors swirling around Kevin Love as of late, as him and the Cavaliers have hit a major turmoil. With trade allegations arising, and conflict with teammates over attendance, all signs are pointing at a possible Kevin Love trade.

Although Kevin Love has improved defensively, he’s still performs at a mediocre level defensively. And right now, there’s nothing the Cavs need more than a solid shot-blocker and anchor to their defense. And with the trade deadline starting to loom, Cleveland should trade Love while his price is still high.

With Cleveland engaging in trade talks with the Sacramento Kings for guard George Hill, why not make it happen sooner than later. If Cleveland were to trade Love for Hill and a combo of either center Willy Cauley-Stein or Skal Labissierre, it may just save the teams defense. This will improve Cleveland’s rim protection, while adding another ball handler who can stroke it from beyond the arc. While I think this is the right move, will Cleveland actually do it?

Up Next: Cleveland Hosts the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.