Cavaliers Lose Kevin Love For Rest of Playoffs
The Cleveland Cavaliers were probably hoping they’d get Kevin Love back to help them make a title run. That won’t be happening.
Per reports, Cleveland’s star power forward will miss the remainder of this year’s playoffs and will be away from basketball activities for roughly 4-6 months as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder.
There was initially some hesistance to completely rule Love out, but the nature of his shoulder dislocation seems to be a little more severe than originally believed. That puts Love on the shelf for Cleveland’s title run and takes away a solid scorer and rebounding presence.
The question, then, is what do the Cavs do now? Tristan Thompson may slide into the starting lineup, while the team will naturally ask more of their bench. The problem, of course, is at first glance their bench doesn’t look that great. That will mean more run for aging commodities like Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and James Jones, and only more pressure on the likes of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
The team will also ask more out of starting shooting guard J.R. Smith, but he won’t be available until game three in round two, as he’s set to serve a two-game suspension for punching Jae Crowder.
It’s arguable that the Cavaliers still have two of the league’s best players in the playoffs right now, and a supporting cast of Timofey Mozgov, Smith, Tristan and Iman Shumpert is good enough to get them to the 2015 NBA Finals.
Considering no one else in the Eastern Conference is completely healthy or without their own flaws, that only makes sense.
Down a huge star player that seemed to be finally hitting his stride in the first round of the playoffs, though, the Cavs may be sliding out of that “favorite” role to become this year’s champions.
No one can be sure how the playoffs will unfold, but a battered Cavs squad has it much harder now. Taking down the East is obviously no guarantee, but even if they do manage it, what happens when they run into the likes of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or Houston Rockets? Folks making bets on James and co. winning it all this summer may want to reconsider.
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