Kevin Love’s defensive ability has always been criticized. During Game 5 of the 2016 Finals, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving tried to cover up Love’s awful play. However, the power forward turned things around against Steph Curry in Game 7. Cavs fans may call the move legendary. Cynical ones may call it luck. NBA diehards know it as “The Stop.”
“The Stop” serves as the greatest highlight of Love’s career. However, the Cavaliers player isn’t as proud of the moment as we’d think. Read on to find out why Love doesn’t like to brag about the momentous highlight.
Kevin Love’s stop against Steph Curry will go down in NBA history
Love recalled the making of that iconic moment. He noted that everyone on the team worked together to ensure the Warriors didn’t win the title. In a conversation on NBA Twitter, Love noted that his team kept reviewing the pregame play and looking for anything they’d miss.
He explained that the Cavaliers switched on defense to trap “The Splash Brothers,” Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, and then force the rest of the team to the middle. In the final 1:14 of regulation, Curry missed his three 3-pointers. This would’ve helped Golden State take the crown home.
Love effortlessly shot Curry down twice. His first stop was denying Curry his first touch and then trailed him to ensure he made an awkward prayer toward the game’s final seconds. When Curry got the ball the second time, Love knew it was up to him to step up. He recalls knowing he was going up against one of the best point guards in NBA history.
Love’s thoughts about his career highlight
In an interview with GQ Magazine, Love expressed his thoughts about his career’s defining moment. He acknowledged that the moment was a legacy-defining one but admitted he let Curry have the ball back after the first denial. He noted that it was unwise of him to have allowed Curry to get the ball back since he was trapping him into giving it up in the first place.
However, Love said he had to keep his foot down as a player and continue with the game to deliver a tremendous individual defense. Although Love tries to play the moment down by calling it a poor defensive sequence, he does place the moment among his top plays and highlights in his career.
The great plays on display at the 2016 NBA Game 7 highlights
Festus Ezeli of the Grand State Warriors got tricked by LeBron James into fouling with 5:24 remaining on the clock. Afterward, LeBron made his three free throws, trimming the Cavaliers‘ discrepancy to 87-86 and turning the tide in their favor.
With 1:09 remaining and the score still being a tie, the Cleveland Cavaliers had to call for a timeout. The play here was to get LeBron out of the way and let Love and Richard Jefferson take center place. The Cavaliers wanted to get rid of Klay Thompson and force Steph Curry into close contact with Irving.
Irving taking his right-wing spot, dribbled the ball with his right hand to indicate he would shield Curry using his left hand. In a turn of events, Irving made a quick sideways escape leaving Curry shocked for a moment. This brief shock for Curry enabled Irving to cleanly shoot over him, thus landing the Cavaliers a win against the Grand State Warriors.