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Kevin Love Out for East Semifinals

Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love will miss the entirety of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a left shoulder injury, the team announced Monday.

Here’s the full release from the team:

Not only does Love have a dislocated shoulder, but there’s also ligament and labrum damage, which sounds like bad news for his ability to come back at all in the postseason if the Cavaliers advance past the second round. Based on that statement, it seems like some type of procedure to repair the injury could still be on the table.

Love suffered the injury after getting tangled up with Boston Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 of their first-round series on Sunday. An initial report had Love out for a minimum of two weeks, and now it’s confirmed that it’ll be longer.

This is a tough blow to Cleveland’s title aspirations. The second-round opponent will likely be the Chicago Bulls, who should provide an even bigger challenge now that Love is out.

Cavaliers head coach David Blatt will have some big decisions to make in regards to his rotation. Tristan Thompson is the primary backup big man, but perhaps Blatt starts LeBron James or even James Jones at the 4 so Thompson can continue to bring energy off the bench. This injury also may mean more playing time for Kendrick Perkins.

Either way, this diagnosis makes Cleveland’s journey to the NBA Finals more difficult. It’ll be made even tougher if J.R. Smith gets suspended because of his incident with Jae Crowder. James and Kyrie Irving will really have to step up to the plate, and the other role players must do so as well.

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