Cavs' Kevin Love to miss playoff series due to shoulder injury, NBA penalizes Smith, Olynyk, and Perkins

April 27, 2015

In a potential blow to the Cleveland Cavaliers' championship aspirations, power forward Kevin Love will be unavailable for the team's upcoming Conference Semifinal playoff after sustaining a left shoulder dislocation during the first quarter of Game 4 against the Boston Celtics.

With the Cavs likely to face the Chicago Bulls and their deep frontcourt of Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, and company, the loss of Love will significantly undercut Cleveland's depth.

Moreover, Love's rebounding ability, post-up game, and three-point shooting in particular will impact the Cavs' play and floor spacing because now the Bulls bigs will not have to close out on Love on the perimeter.

Specifically, Love's injury was diagnosed as an acute anterior inferior glenohumeral dislocation with the corresponding ligament/labrum tearing and humeral head bone bruising.

Currently, Love is undergoing training room treatments while additional opinions are being obtained and treatment options being explored.  An update regarding his status after the playoff series will be determined over the next several days.

With Love out, a greater burden will fall on LeBron James to make up for Love's production on the glass, as the Cavs coaching staff might elect to go with a smaller lineup featuring James at the 4.

NBA cracks down on physical play

The physical play in Game 4 not only caused an injury to Love, but also forced the NBA into action by punishing certain players for their conduct.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith was suspended two games without pay, and Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk was suspended one game without pay for their roles in separate incidents during Cleveland’s 101-93 victory over Boston on April 26, it was announced by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

In addition, Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins’s second quarter Flagrant Foul 1 has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 and he has been fined $15,000.

Smith’s incident, during which he swung his arm and made contact with the head of Celtics forward Jae Crowder, resulted in a Flagrant Foul 2 and his ejection at the 10:24 mark of the third quarter of the game.

Smith will serve his suspension in Games 1 and 2 of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals when the Cavaliers host the winner of the Bulls-Bucks series.

The incident involving Olynyk, in which he became entangled with Cavaliers forward Kevin Love and yanked his arm down, occurred with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter of the game.

Olynyk will serve his suspension in the first game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

The incident involving Perkins occurred with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter of the same game.

By Staff of and news services

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