Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love left the Cavaliers’ Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics with a dislocated left shoulder, and while Love is still awaiting further evaluation, he’s expected to miss some time:
Nothing will be known for sure until MRI but word within Cavs team tonight is Kevin Love likely out a minimum of 2 weeks.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) April 27, 2015
Love suffered the injury when he and Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk got tangled up going for a rebound:
Love accused Olynyk of playing dirty, while Olynyk said he had no intent to injure. Either way, this is a tough blow to a Cavaliers team that has championship aspirations. While Love has had some issues fitting in and hasn’t played to the best of his capabilities this season, he’s still a very good player who had just made a big impact in the Game 3 win over Boston.
If Love is out only two weeks, he’d still likely miss at least three or four games of the next series, which will all but certainly come against the Chicago Bulls. If the Bulls close out the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night, Game 1 of Cavaliers-Bulls will take place on Saturday. If Bulls-Bucks goes six or more games, the next series would start next Monday.
While Tristan Thompson is a capable replacement for Love, the two players are very different. Thompson is a more able defender, but he’s not near the offensive player Love is, although Thompson’s ability to grab offensive boards at a high level is quite invaluable.
Just as important as Thompson replacing Love is who replaces Thompson. Cleveland doesn’t exactly have the best depth in the frontcourt, and it’ll be interesting to see how much head coach David Blatt turns to James Jones and/or Kendrick Perkins. LeBron James will also surely soak up more frontcourt minutes until Love returns, whenever that may be.