The Cavs play their last game before the All-Star break against the Pacers on Wednesday, and it's doubtful Love will suit up for that one. McMenamin and Chris Haynes reported on Monday that Smith is on target for a mid-March return, which would boost Cleveland's depth.
"I turned a corner very, very young", James said, smiling.
James sounded confident when asked about the current situation and said, "As long as I'm in the lineup, we've got a chance". "We good. Kev is out for an extended period of time". J.R. has been out.
Channing Frye will likely fill into Love's shoes while he is out.
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Replacing Love will be hard, particularly his rebounding.
Since Love can be expected to miss about 32 games if he returns on schedule, that's a three- or four-win swing if the RPM projections are accurate - significant with the Boston Celtics just two games back in the standings. Now that has been scratched, too. James and Kyrie Irving each scored 25 points to lead the Cavs scoring. "Just, get evaluated [Tuesday] and see how he feels". "Having that all-star year and this is where he wanted to get back to after coming from Minnesota a couple years ago". "We're a veteran team and we know how to approach the fourth quarter. I've got my guys ready to play every single night". He has blended in with fellow stars James and Kyrie Irving, giving the Cavs a "Big 3" as potent as any trio in the league. The Wine and Gold still sit atop the East with their 36-16 overall record.
If not, then we'll see if they manage to hold onto home court advantage between now and season's end, and also if LeBron James holds up, before this merits further discussion.
Cleveland has won four straight games at The Q and owns the best home record in the Eastern Conference and second-best home mark in the National Basketball Association at 23-5 (.821).
In a game that was relatively close all the way through, the Cavs pulled off a 116-108 victory in their first game since the announcement of Kevin Love's knee surgery, behind a near triple double from LeBron (25 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds). "There's no margin for error".