Report: Cavs preparing as if they won’t have Kevin Love in lineup for season opener

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Kevin Love’s strained right calf has forced the Cleveland Cavaliers to prepare as if he won’t be in the lineup for Wednesday night’s opener against the Charlotte Hornets.

Love was removed near the end of the first half of the Dec. 12 preseason game against the Indiana Pacers after suffering the injury. Since that time, he’s been unable to practice and sat out the final three preseason matchups.

A final determination will come after Wednesday’s shootaround. Larry Nance Jr. will take Love’s spot if he’s unable to go.

Nance only recently cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol, but Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants to be prepared if Love is unavailable.

“It’s best to just move Larry in that spot and increase his minutes and workload,” Bickerstaff said. “Obviously, if Kevin is out, we will have to play some small ball. But I think to start games and the majority of the minutes, I think it’s a good thing to just move Larry because he’s got a similar skill set, his ability to pass the ball and all those things. And he’s a good player.”

The second game of the year for the Cavaliers will take place on Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons.

Only time will tell if Love can suit up for that matchup.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.