The Cleveland Cavaliers closed out their first-round series against the Boston Celtics Sunday with a 101-93 win, but instead of moving a step closer on their path to an NBA Championship, their title hopes got stamped with a giant question mark when Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder early in the first quarter after getting tangled up with Kelly Olynyk.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Love was none to pleased about the play and perceived it as intentionally malicious on Olynyk’s part.
Speaking of dirty plays, the old J.R. “Don’t call me Earl” Smith reared his ugly head later in the third quarter with a back-handed pimp slap on Jae Crowder that earned him a Flagrant 2 and automatic ejection. The hit sent Crowder to the ground, causing him to land awkwardly on his left leg. He sat out the rest of the game with a knee sprain.
It’s possible that the league will take a closer look at both of these incidents, and in Smith’s case, it seems particularly likely that he could face a fine and/or suspension.
For now, Love’s status remains uncertain, which is disheartening for the Cavs given that he was just starting to hit his stride this series after struggling to find a groove throughout most of the regular season. Through three games, he’d been averaging 18.4 points, nine rebounds, and three assists and was shooting better than 47 percent from behind the arc.
According to the team, Love will be re-evaluated at Cleveland Clinic Sports upon their return home, and further updates on his status should be forthcoming within the next day or two. Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today Sports has more on how much time Love could potentially miss, depending on the nature and severity of the injury.
“The average timeline for a return from a dislocated left shoulder is about four weeks — some returns are longer and some shorter depending on the severity of the injury.