Cavs' Kevin Love dislocates shoulder, calls foul 'bush league'

ByDave McMenamin via ESPN logo
Monday, April 27, 2015

BOSTON -- Cavaliers forward Kevin Lovedislocated his left shoulder in the first quarter of Game 4 against the Celtics on Sunday and was ruled out for the rest of the game, which Cleveland won101-93to sweep the first-round series.

Love was tangled up with Boston's Kelly Olynyk when the injury occurred. Olynyk was called for a loose-ball foul with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter for clamping down on Love's left arm and pulling down. The seventh-year forward sprinted to the Cavs' locker room while holding his shoulder after the contact.

The Cavs said Love will undergo further examination at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health in the next 24 hours. A source told ESPN's Brian Windhorst that some Cavaliers players were told Love would miss a minimum of two weeks.

"I thought it was a bush-league play," Love said after the game. "Olynyk was in a compromising position, had no chance to get the ball, and it's just too bad that he would go to those lengths to take somebody out of the game and do that to someone. I have no doubt in my mind that he did that on purpose."

Some Cleveland players saw the replay of the injury for the first time in the locker room after the game. One player looked at a clip of it playing on a staffer's phone and said, "That's f---ed up," as he shook his head.

SaidLeBron James: "It didn't look like a basketball play. I've seen a lot of tie-ups in my day, and that tie-in was a little different. We want to play the game of basketball the right way. Youwant to be physical, but you never want the game to get out of hand."

In the opposing locker room, Celtics teammate Evan Turner defended Olynyk, saying the play was not dirty.

"Kelly doesn't have a mean bone in his body," Turner said. "And obviously with a star player it looks bad, but Kelly's not that type of dude. K-Love should feel the same type of way because, what is it? A separated shoulder? That's tough, man. It might be missing something very important, especially when that guy's been battling for 7-8 years to make it to the playoffs. That's tough as well. But if the league looks into it, they'll do the right job on investigating, but Kelly is not that type of guy."

Love expects the NBA to review the foul and punish Olynyk accordingly.

"The league will take a look at it, and it better be swift and just," Love said.

The 26-year old Love, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, said he reviewed the play and thought Olynyk's intent to harm was clear.

"That's just not a basketball play," Love said. "You look at the replay. I saw a picture of his arm underneath. It's just not a basketball play. Yeah, expect it to be physical, but when it has to go to that length, that's not the way it's supposed to be. That's not how you play basketball."

Love had been averaging 18.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 47.1 percent from 3-point range during the Cavs' 3-0 start to the series.

Iman Shumpert dislocated his non-shooting shoulder earlier this season before being traded to Cleveland from the New York Knicks and missed six weeks of game action, but the Cavs maintain they won't have a potential timeline in place for Love until they see how his shoulder responds Monday.

"Once it got back into place, it was a huge relief," Love said of his shoulder being re-set in the locker room. "Threw ice on it, got [electric stimulation] on there now. Obviously you guys can see it's in a sling, and we'll go from there. Obviously not happy about it, but I'm going to try to make the best of the situation."

Love's injury seemed to turn what was already a pretty physical series into a wrestling match.

Later in the first half, Cavs reserve big man Kendrick Perkins pushed Boston's Jae Crowder to the floor when setting a pick for James with 1:44 remaining in the second quarter.

On the ensuing fracas, Perkins appeared to jab Crowder in the face with his left fist. He and Crowder both received technical fouls.

After a referee's review, Perkins was assessed a flagrant foul 1 for the play.

Crowder was later injured on a flagrant foul by the Cavaliers'J.R. Smith, spraining his left knee after falling to the court on the play, in which Smith struck the Celtics forward in the face. Smith was ejected from the game.

Cavs big man Tristan Thompson was also sent sprawling into a row of courtside seats after being shoved by the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas.

"We could say the same thing," Thomas told reporters when informed what Cavs players said about the Olynyk play. "We're all men here. We don't need to cry and tell you guys. It is what it is. It's playoff basketball. We don't want to hurt anybody. Things happen, and we've got to move forward."

The Cavs have moved forward to the second round. The question is how many of their players will be available once their next series gets underway.'s Chris Forsberg contributed to this report.

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