The following is a statement that the Cleveland Cavaliers PR department just sent out for immediate release…
While Love has certainly underachieved this year, it is a drastic blow to a Cavalier team with a “Championship or bust” mindset — as they are going to likely face an enormous(ly talented) Chicago Bulls front line without their starting power forward and proverbial third-wheel of their “Big 3”.
In case you missed it: the shoulder injury that the Cavaliers allude to occurred during the first half of Game 4 between Cleveland and Boston, yesterday afternoon…
Love, after the game, told the media he thought that Kelly Olynyk may have tried to injure him “On Purpose” and that the play was “Bush League”
Kevin Love: "I thought it was a bush-league play … I have no doubt in my mind that he did it on purpose"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 26, 2015
I’ll leave the interpretation up to you, but, ultimately — the fallout of the injury for the Cavs wasn’t yet complete. After Love ran off the court in pain, Cavaliers players vowed to retaliate — per Celtics radio analyst Cedric Maxwell….—-
“I talked to some of the Cavaliers players, and one of the things they mentioned to me, they said, ‘Look, what happened to Kevin Love, we’re going to retaliate…”—-
Welp, retaliate they did…
First, Kendrick Perkins absolutely leveled Jae Crowder during a pick-and-roll….
…and then J.R. Smith knocked out Jae Crowder cold with this spinning backhand of death, which looked like something out of ‘Mortal Kombat’.
As Jae fell to the ground, you can see his knee buckle beneath him — and ultimately, he was carried off the floor with what appeared to be a leg injury. Crowder was diagnosed with an ACL Sprain this afternoon, thus, this news + J.R. Smith’s extensive track-record of being suspended for flagrant foul behavior could mean his availability status for the second round series vs. either the Bulls or Bucks is in deeeeeeep doo doo.Without Kevin and J.R., the Cavaliers will need to replace Love’s
- 26.7 Minutes Per Game
- 14.3 Points Per Game
- 7.0 Rebounds Per Game
- 2.5 Assists Per Game
- 26.8 Minutes Per Game
- 9.8 Points Per Game
- 2.3 Steals Per Game
Will the Cavs be able to match up with the overwhelming Gasol/Noah/Gibson front-line of the Chicago Bulls without their vital big man?
Only time will tell…