The hits keep on coming for the Cavs. The Game 4 slugfest that saw the Cavs eliminate the Celtics in a 4-0 sweep, also saw a number of non-basketball plays, and now come the resulting suspensions. Kevin Love has reportedly been ruled out for the entirety of Cleveland’s Conference Semifinal series — likely against Bulls, who lead the Bucks 3-1 with Game 5 in Chicago tonight — and now word comes today J.R. Smith will not be playing in the first two home games when the next round tips off:
This is of course the result of Smith’s Game 4 back-handed swipe at Jae Crowder’s face replaying above, for which he was issued a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected. It’s also noted Kelly Olynyk will serve a one-game suspension at the onset of the 2015-16 season for the armbar he put Kevin Love in during a scrum for a rebound that dislocated Love’s left shoulder and knocked him out of the Conference Semifinals:
On top of all the suspensions issued after the Game 4 rumble, comes the news Kendrick Perkins will also be assessed a $15,000 fine and have his Flagrant 1 foul upgraded to a Flagrant 2.
Smith, it seems, was perfectly justified in being “nervous as hell,” he might be suspended.
The former Knick is now out for the first two games of the series, starting in Cleveland regardless of the outcome between Chicago and Milwaukee. Smith had appeared to turn his act around away from the bright lights of Manhattan, but as former Times scribe Howard Beck notes on Twitter, this is now the second time in three years Smith has hurt his team by getting suspended in the playoffs.
For a Cavs team already missing Love, Smith’s absence just makes it that much more difficult Cleveland gets out of their first two games at The Q with the home-court advantage they played all season to attain.