Cavs’ Kevin Love: We’re fortifying champs, not Finals underdogs

9:33 PM ET

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Everywhere from a Las Vegas sportsbooks to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index to even LeBron James’ framing of a 2017 NBA Finals has a Cleveland Cavaliers as complicated underdogs opposite a Golden State Warriors.

But Kevin Love doesn’t buy it.

“The whole loser thing is humorous to me, because, yeah, during a finish of a day we are fortifying a title,” Love pronounced Saturday after a Cavs’ initial use in credentials for a Warriors given clinching a mark in a Finals. “We’re perplexing to repeat, that is so tough to do. we consider we will use it as fuel, we will use it as motivation, though a suspicion of personification into it? It’s tough for me to contend that is a case. we don’t feel like we’re underdogs. We compare adult good with them, and we consider they’d contend a same about us.”

The Warriors’ goal, of course, is also to win a rubber compare with Cleveland and acquire a second pretension in 3 years. Golden State brazen Draymond Green put it in many stronger difference when he told NBA.com’s David Aldridge in Oct that he wanted to “destroy” and “annihilate” a Cavs if they accommodate with a championship on a line again.

“He’s competitive,” Love pronounced of Green. “I mean, he’s one of a many rival players in a league, and he kind of spoke this into existence. He’s a male who pronounced he wanted us, and he has us starting subsequent Thursday, and we know he’s a male who brings it any singular night. So now, with a approach a Finals went down final year, if we were in his shoes, we would wish a same thing.”

Lue pronounced his players “probably already have seen and heard” Green’s comments before, and he chalked it adult to Green “speaking out of emotion.” He added, “I like guys like that. … Says what he unequivocally wants.”

The Green-Love matchup was a final thing a Cavs wanted final June. Along with a concussion that Love suffered in Game 2, a versatile Green was a base of Love’s troubles as a reduction mobile large man. Love averaged only 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in a 6 games he played, though he capped a array with 9 points, 14 rebounds, dual steals and a essential stop on a fringe opposite Steph Curry in Game 7.

Love comes into a Finals this year personification during a many aloft level. He averaged 22.6 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in a Eastern Conference finals contra a Boston Celtics. The Cavs wrapped a array adult with a win Thursday in Game 5.

After personification so good in a discussion finals, is Love so assured that he prefers a matchup opposite a Warriors over personification a San Antonio Spurs?

“Want a Warriors? Like Bron pronounced in his postgame presser, they’ve been right during a top, best group in a joining for 3 years true now. They’ve been super-impressive,” Love said. “It’s kind of in a minds that that’s who we were going to see. They played good basketball this year. Obviously, adding an MVP to a group that already has a two-time MVP, that creates them even some-more impressive. It’s tough to contend that we didn’t design it. We knew they’d be right there.”

Both teams have compared agreeably with one another this postseason. The Warriors are 12-0 altogether by a initial 3 rounds; a Cavs are 12-1. Cleveland has a No. 1 descent potency in a playoffs with 120.7 points per 100 possessions; Golden State is No. 2 during 115.8. The Warriors have a No. 1 defensive potency during 99.1 points authorised per 100 possessions; a Cavs are No. 3 during 104.6.

On Friday, Green discussed looking brazen to confronting a Cavaliers again and highlighted that it should be another rival series, like final year’s Finals that came down to Game 7.

“I design it to be a rival series, absolutely,” Green said. “But during a same time, if we play a diversion of basketball, who knows what will happen?”

Lue pronounced Saturday that he expects any group to continue to try to one-up a other.

“I consider via a march of a playoffs, we consider any group wasn’t going to be outdone, until we mislaid that diversion to Boston,” Lue said, referring to a Cavs’ detriment in Game 3 of a discussion finals. “But we did something, and afterwards they come back, they’ll do something. They do something, we come behind and do something. So we consider on both sides, they’re kind of looking and examination and perplexing to surpass any other.

“And we saw Draymond pronounced [Friday] night, he only talked about only dual good teams. And Steph said, ‘It wasn’t easy.’ Like, ‘We put in a work, we came in any singular day and put in a work to get to this indicate to play in June. It wasn’t given to us. We had to acquire it.’ And both teams had to do a same thing. So carrying that group like Golden State over there who is always pulling us, we know from on this side, it’s good for us and it’s good for a game.”

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