If someone tries to tell you “Cleveland will be fine without Kevin Love, he doesn’t fit in” you’ll know they weren’t watching Cavaliers games lately. Love has found a comfort level in the postseason, averaged 18.3 points and nine rebounds a game in the playoffs, and is shooting 47 percent from three. It may not be the role he envisioned, but Love is finding a role with the Cavaliers.
Or was. He got tangled up with the Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, who locked Love’s arm and gave a yank, dislocating it.
The question now is how long Love will be out, and the Cavaliers are trying to sound optimistic, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
Note that said “minimum” of two weeks, not two weeks. It is not uncommon for a shoulder dislocation to mean more than a month on the sidelines. But you can’t blame the Cavaliers for trying to be positive. Still, he likely will miss much or all of the series against the Bulls or Bucks.
Love being out could be an issue in the next round — especially when you factor in J.R. Smith is likely to miss at least a game and maybe more (he deserves multiple games) for his shot to Jae Crowder.
The Bulls, which are the favorite and lead 3-1 in the series, roll out a big front line with Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, with Nikola Mirotic coming in off the bench. Cleveland could have used Love’s size and ability to pull some of that size out of the paint. The Cavs are going to ask a lot more of Tristan Thompson than they had hoped.
Injuries have played a big role though this entire season and into the playoffs, that’s not changing now.
But just how big a role in the case of Love we likely learn on Monday.