Notes, quotes and observations after the Cavaliers fell 125-114 to the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

1. If the Cavs’ front office wasn’t urgently pursuing a trade before the Feb. 8 deadline, presumably it is now.

2. The fractured fifth metacarpal in All-Star forward/center Kevin Love’s left hand might keep him out for an extended period – “maybe two months” were LeBron James’ words in the post-game locker room.

3. Maybe the Cavs don’t care about their playoff seeding. Maybe they don’t care about their defense; they haven’t all season. But they surely care about trying to retain James, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer.

4. Standing pat when Love was in the midst of one of the best seasons of his career is one thing, even though it wouldn’t have been a good idea, anyway.

5. But presuming that Channing Frye, Jeff Green and Jae Crowder can make up for two months without Love, who was averaging 18.2 points and 9.6 rebounds and is tied with James for 27 double-doubles this season, seems ludicrous.
6. Believing that James and Isaiah Thomas can provide enough as the main scorers is a huge gamble, especially when Thomas said his body is only 75 to 80 percent back after spending seven months rehabbing a torn labrum in his right hip. It’s not out of the realm that that’s as good as he’s going to get physically, at least this season.

7. “It’s a huge blow for our team, obviously,” James said of Love’s injury. “Any time you lose an All-Star or you lose anybody, part of your crew, it’s a tough blow. We’re already limited in our bigs, anyway. We’ll be getting a lot smaller now.”

8. It’s not just that Frye is the only backup center behind Tristan Thompson, not counting rookie Ante Zizic, who has played just 41 minutes this season. Frye seemed on his way to Sacramento in a trade last week for guard George Hill before complications arose.

9. The Cavs playing on expiring contracts – Frye, Thomas, Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon – aren’t going to bring much. The Cavs will surely have to surrender their own first-round pick. But in the wake of Love’s injury, owner Dan Gilbert must consider trading away Brooklyn’s protected 2018 first-round pick unless he’s ready to let James walk away for the second time.

10. The Cavs need help on defense. They need a rim protector. They need a reliable point guard, even though they have a glut of them.

11. Since Christmas, they have lost 11 of their last 16 games. They won back-to-back games for the first time in six weeks against the Pacers and Pistons on Friday and Sunday, then slipped back into their rut.

12. It seems time for a bold move by Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman.

13. “When it rains it pours and Kevin has been great for us all year,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “To lose an All-Star in the midst of what we’re going through is tough, but next man up. You’ve got to be ready to play. But I felt sorry for Kevin after having such a healthy year.”

14. Asked Love’s mood, Lue said, “Down. Down. It’s just part of the game. You hate to see anyone get injured at any point in time of the season and now we’ve got to rally the troops and we’ve got to have his back until he gets back.”

15. Although Crowder replaced Love and started the second half, Lue made no commitment to that going forward.

16. “I’ve got to see. It was just on a reaction basis,” he said of using Crowder after sending him to the second unit three games ago. “Jeff Green was sick tonight so he couldn’t really go, had to get him out. Got to go through it and evaluate. It might be one of these things now where it depends on who we’re playing and the matchup. Probably be on a matchup basis.”

17. Tristan Thompson said Love was hurt when he was trying to throw Love “a high-low” pass and Love got fouled, although a foul wasn’t called.

18. “I feel bad, especially a freak accident like that,” Thompson said.

19. James thought Love was injured battling for possession and said when he saw Love’s hand swelling, he feared it was broken. Love left the game with 7:19 left in the first quarter to have it X-rayed. James said they learned the news before they left the court at halftime.

20. It is the third broken hand in Love’s career, the first two with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He missed 62 games in 2012-13 after fracturing the third and fourth metacarpals in his right hand and later re-fracturing the third. In 2009-10, he broke the fourth metacarpal in his left hand and missed the first 18 games of the season. Love was also sidelined for 16 games last season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Feb. 14.

21. As the Cavs allowed the Pistons to snap an eight-game losing streak and saw their own two-game winning streak end, there was no doubt Love’s injury was deflating.

22. “It sucks. It sucks big time,” James said. “There’s nothing you can do about it, obviously. Injuries are part of the game. It’s unfortunate for our team and obviously with everything going on as of late with our ballclub just trying to figure out how we’re going to play every night, different lineups, getting everybody into the flow.”

23. Thompson said, “Obviously you can’t replace Kev, he’s an All-Star, he’s huge to our team, our core. We’ve just got to be better and band together and pick up where he left off. Next man has to step up. Channing has to do a little bit more, Jeff when they put him at the four.”

24. Thomas said he thought Love was coming back in the second half and “it hurt” when he found out Love’s diagnosis.

25. “He’s a big part of this organization,” Thomas said. “Anybody going down is going to hurt. To know that it was something serious … We just gotta keep pushing. It’s gonna be tough, but we gotta figure it out and there’s no excuses.”

26. Asked what he told Love, Thomas said, “Just to keep your head high. It’s bigger mentally than it is physically. I mean, he’s had injuries before, but he’s just gotta stay connected to what’s going on with this team and continue to rehab and do whatever he gotta do to get back as soon as possible, but be smart about it. And I know he will.”

27. Frye called Love’s injury “a tough break,” and there may have been no pun intended.

28. “He’s been playing some damn good basketball for us. The guy’s been just a workhorse this year for us,” Frye said. “You can’t ask one guy to go average 17 and 11, or whatever he’s averaging. All of us got to step our game up, make sure we’re getting our rest, doing what’s needed because the rotation goes down a little bit more and guys are going to get put in different situations, so we have to be more attentive and more focused and ready to go.”

29. Crowder said losing Love during the game definitely affected the Cavs.

30. “He’s a big part of what we do over here. It just sucks,” Crowder said. “Right when we feel like we’re gaining some ground, trying to get some games one of our main guys goes down. It’s an uphill battle, but we just have to stay the course and learn from our loss and get better.”

31. What Crowder said when it was pointed out he’s been shooting better of late might show why Lue was reluctant to turn the power forward spot over to Crowder.

32. “Just really taking what the defense gives me, I guess, and stepping into shots,” Crowder said. “My role still fluctuates on a nightly basis. Sometimes I feel good, sometimes I don’t.”

33. Crowder also didn’t want to consider how much might fall on him with Love out.

34. “I’m not going to get caught up in starting or coming off the bench. Just get the game plan from the coaches and go from there,” he said. “I don’t want to get into that right now.”

35. Also playing a part was the fact that the Pistons were one day removed from a blockbuster trade for Clippers’ star Blake Griffin, along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed, who were flying to Detroit during the game.

36. “They’re a well-coached team,” Frye said. “Jose (Calderon) and I were talking, we’ve been in the league a long time. These games when a coach gets fired or a bunch of guys get traded, everyone just plays free of mind. For us we just weren’t on the same page defensively.”

37. Lue wouldn’t call for the front office to make a trade now.

38. “I can’t speak to that. I just coach the guys we have,” Lue said. “We’ve got a great group. We know we have to be better defensively for one. We gave up three 30-point quarters to this team that can’t really score the ball that well, have guys out that’s been traded. We just have to be better.”

39. Lue was especially unhappy with the Cavs allowing 68 points in paint, tying an opponent’s season-high, with 68 also allowed in a loss at New Orleans on Oct. 28. The Pistons outscored the Cavs 27-6 on the fast break.

40. Two Pistons – Stanley Johnson (26), Reggie Bullock (22) -- recorded or tied career-highs in scoring and Anthony Tolliver (20) tied his season-high.

41. “We didn’t guard tonight. We’ve got to be better one-on-one taking the challenge,” Lue said. “They hurt us on one play in the first half, we kind of adjusted to that, they didn’t do it in the second half. A lot of blow-bys. We’ve got to be able to help, but we also got to get back out to shooters. We just didn’t sit down and take the challenge one-on-one tonight.”

42. Frye tried to present a positive spin when he was asked how the Cavs digested Love’s injury.

43. “You just chew on it for a little bit and you say, ‘OK, things happen,’” Frye said. “It’s a hand, it’s not a knee, it’s not a foot and it’s his off-hand. I mean, it could be worse. Isaiah Thomas used to always tell me, ‘It could be a lot worse.’ He’ll be nice and rested for the All-Star break.”