The Cleveland Cavaliers won Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals on the backs of two marvelous performances from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. James filled the stat sheet with 41 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks, while Irving chipped in 41 points of his own.
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One player who didn’t do much last night? Kevin Love. The power forward managed just 2 points and 3 rebounds in 33 minutes. His lackluster performance combined with some choice editing made many people believe that LeBron sternly rejected an attempted high five from Love:
That certainly doesn’t look good, but the truth is Love wasn’t actually going for a high five. This interaction came shortly after a sequence in which the Warriors got two straight offensive rebounds leading to an Andre Iguodala layup. It looks like Love was trying to tell LeBron he went up vertically for the rebound while LeBron was insisting he should be using more of his body:
When you remove the context from the clip, it looks like an eager Love went for a high five and LeBron responded by screaming at him. In reality, it was an exchange between two teammates during a must-win game about the best way to limit Golden State’s rebounding.
Love has averaged a solid 15.4 PPG and 8.8 RPG in the postseason, so there’s reason to believe he’ll be better in Game 6. If he can get involved in the offense early, we might just see the Cavs force a Game 7 and Love get a legitimate high five from King James.
Want to see what it looks like when an athlete actually gets left hanging on an high five? Enjoy this classic GIF of Tom Brady desperately searching for a warm body to slap hands with:
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