CLEVLEAND – The worst fears for Cleveland Cavalier fans were confirmed on Monday in reference to Kevin Love and J.R. Smith.
Love, who suffered a dislocated shoulder after getting entangled with Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk during a 101-93 series-clinching win, has been ruled of the entire Eastern conference semifinals against either the Chicago Bulls or Milwaukee Bucks after a MRI confirmed a shoulder dislocation with a ligament and labrum tearing and bone bruising.
A possible timetable for his return is a minimum of three weeks.
Olynyk, per reports, would be suspended one game next season by the NBA, stating that he yanked Love’s arm down”.
After years of never making it to the post-season in Minnesota, Love was enjoying a solid playoff run in averaging 19 points and eight rebounds in the Cavaliers four-game sweep of the feisty Celtics. With Love out for the entire semis—and possibly the entire post-season, Cleveland’s ability to space the floor for it’s shooters will be severely diminished.
Smith, likely in retaliation for Love’s injury, struck Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder in the face under the hoop Sunday, received a two-game suspension according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, which will go into effect for Games 1 and 2 of the East semis.
Smith, who would be ejected after a flagrant foul was assessed, is another big loss in Cleveland’s high-octane offense.
For the post-season, Smith was averaging 9.8 points a game in 26.8 minutes.
Former Celtic—and current Cavaliers—center Kendrick Perkins, who was also involved in a run-in with Crowder, would be fined by the NBA.