Kevin Love suffered an injury in game 4 of the first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. The initial injury was reported as a dislocated shoulder and while there has been much speculation about whether he could return this season, it does not look like that is likely at this point.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were certainly one of the favored teams to go to the NBA finals this year after bringing in Lebron James and having the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs started. However, without the use of Love, that journey could be a lot more difficult.
Speaking on Love’s injury, David Griffin, the GM of the Cavs, said, “The damage to his shoulder is extensive. This is not a situation where we are expecting that he will be available for any of (the rest of the postseason), and we are in the process of gathering information and seeing what the exact right next steps are, and every option is on the table. Surgery is an option as well if necessary. We’re going to continue to look at that, but I don’t want there to be any expectation on Kevin that he’ll be back.”
Kevin Love was a big part of the success that the Cavs had in the first round of the playoffs and he was playing in the first playoff series of his career. He was hurt when he got tangled with Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk while chasing a loose ball in the first quarter Sunday and he pulled so hard that it popped out of the shoulder joint.
Lebron James was a bit of a Kevin Love critic for much of the regular season, but he recently had high praise for his teammate’s play in the playoffs and called his injury unfortunate. After entering the playoffs as the Las Vegas favorite to win it all, the Cavs will now have to play as an underdog.
The team is currently mentally preparing for what a playoff series without him will be like and they will be playing either the Chicago Bulls or the Milwaukee Bucks, depending on who wins the series that has seen a strong comeback from the Bucks, and the Bulls currently lead 3-2 in the series.
In addition to Kevin Love likely out for the remainder of the playoffs, J.R. Smith has also been suspended for two games. Do they even have a chance to win any more games?