The NBA Finals are no laughing matter, but there is one aspect that Kevin Love finds funny.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are underdogs heading into their NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors, and the Cavaliers All-Star forward thinks that’s kind of a joke.
“The whole underdog thing is funny to me, because, yeah, at the end of the day we are defending our title,” Love said Saturday, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We’re trying to repeat, which is so hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It’s tough for me to say that is the case. I don’t feel like we’re underdogs. We match up well with them, and I think they’d say the same about us.”
The Cavaliers, of course, came back from a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, which caused Draymond Green to say he wanted to “destroy” the Cavaliers if they met again in the Finals.
But Love is confident in the Cavaliers’ ability heading into their NBA Finals rubber match with the Warriors.
“Want the Warriors? Like Bron said in his postgame presser, they’ve been right at the top, best team in the league for three years straight now,” Love said. “They’ve been super-impressive. It’s kind of in our minds that that’s who we were going to see. They played great basketball this year. Obviously, adding an MVP to a team that already has a two-time MVP, that makes them even more impressive. It’s tough to say that we didn’t expect it. We knew they’d be right there.”
Love only averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in the 2016 NBA Finals, but comes into this year’s edition playing on a different level. The All-Star is coming off a series in which he torched the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals, averaging 22.6 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during the series.
The 2017 NBA Finals begin June 1.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images