Kevin Love in concussion protocol, out vs. Hornets

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Kevin Love was held out for the second half of Cleveland’s loss to Miami Tuesday night because he had shown potential concussion symptoms following taking an elbow to the face in the first couple minutes of the game, a play that knocked one of his teeth loose.

Turns out, they were more than symptoms — Love has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, the Cavaliers announced Wednesday.

He is out for sure Wednesday night vs. Charlotte. From there Love has to clear a series of cognitive exams (off a baseline he established preseason) without symptoms, and doing so with increasing levels of physical exertion. It’s not just the team doctors but also a league neurologist who has to clear him for activity. He could miss just a game or two, he could be out a couple of weeks, it just depends.

Without Love and his floor spacing, shooting, and passing, the Cavaliers offense becomes all about LeBron James‘ ability to create with an entire defense focused on him. Cleveland needs Rodney Hood — who will start for Love — and other role players to step up if the Cavaliers want to hold on to the three seed in the East.

The concussion occurred less than two minutes into Tuesday night’s game in Miami, Kevin Love slid over to try to draw a charge as Heat center Jordan Mickey went through him to try to finish at the rim. Because he got there late, Love was called for the blocking foul, but that was the least of Love’s problems.