What Cleveland actually did with these moves is bolster its offensive depth and shooting. That isn’t actually the Cavaliers’ problem, though. They have plenty of shooting already!
Love has battled back issues and missed more than a month with a knee injury. While he’s playing regular minutes, he is getting trounced on defense, even more so than usual. Back injuries are problematic for big men, so it’s not Love’s fault he can’t guard anyone or show fight inside right now.
But the legitimate excuse for his struggles on that end doesn’t change the fact that his defense is a real problem. That problem isn’t going to disappear in the playoffs when the action gets rougher.
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LeBron is approaching 50,000 career NBA minutes (regular season and playoffs combined). Despite several rest games, LeBron will get close to last season’s 2,700 regular-season minutes. He’s had six straight long playoff runs (with one Olympics thrown in there in 2017).
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The Oakland Raiders placed cornerback D.J. Hayden on injured reserve on Wednesday. Hayden sustained a groin injury against the Texans on Sunday and will be unable to play this season. The Raiders aren’t exactly competing for a spot in the playoffs either way. It’s a disappointing end for the rookie, who appeared in eight games this season and managed two defensed passes, one interception and one forced fumble. Hayden has had a significant injury history, so this is obviously a concern.
The Indianapolis Colts signed running back Chris Rainey on Wednesday. Rainey was a fifth-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, but he was released after multiple off-the-field issues. Rainey rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and caught 14 passes for 60 yards as a rookie. He also added 1,035 yards on kick returns. The Colts definitely need some help at the running back position, so this could wind up being a solid move if Rainey can stay out of trouble.