Cavs news: Kevin Love says third quarter is Cleveland’s Achilles’ heel
The Cleveland Cavaliers were thought to be dead in the water coming into these playoffs. Not many people believed this iteration of the Cavaliers had much of a chance to make it to another finals, let alone win a title.
Part of the reason for that is because of all the turmoil and roster turnover the team had throughout the season. But they managed to win a tough seven-games series over Indiana and are currently up 2-0 over the Toronto Raptors with two games coming in Cleveland.
Kevin Love thought the comeback in Game 2 against the Raptors was huge because they played will in the third quarter, something that has been plaguing the Cavaliers for the entire season, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.
“We never lost sight of that endgame,” Love told ESPN. “Obviously, gaining momentum and winning Game 7 on our home floor was huge for us, but we wanted to make a big stand here. Especially in Game 1, in the fashion that we won, we fought back and were resilient and took our first lead in overtime and were able to make big plays. I think [Game 2] was also big, where in the third quarter we showed a lot of heart, a lot of spark, where we really hadn’t the entire playoffs — really, the entire year — in the third quarter. That’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel for a long time. I think that was big for us, and now we have two games at home where we’re very tough to beat.”
Third quarters are quagmires for many NBA teams, but usually not for ones with championship aspirations. But for Love to admit that it’s been a problem for the Cavaliers, and them for them to be heading in the right direction in that quarter, is a great sign for the Cavaliers.