Love is sidelined; Smith is suspended
The Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday ruled out starting forward Kevin Love for the team’s next playoff series — and perhaps longer — after the former All-Star dislocated his left shoulder Sunday during a victory that completed a first-round sweep of the Boston Celtics.
The Cavaliers also will be without J.R. Smith for the first two games of the Eastern Conference semifinals after the starting guard was suspended by the NBA for his actions during Sunday’s contentious Game 4.
The developments are potentially damaging blows to the East’s second-seeded team, which could face a tough second-round matchup against third-seeded Chicago. The Bulls lead their series against Milwaukee, 3-2.
Love was injured when he got tangled with Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk while chasing the ball in the first quarter. Olynyk appeared to clamp down on Love’s arm and pulled so hard it popped out of the shoulder joint. Love had an MRI exam and other tests performed Monday and the team said he sustained a dislocation with torn ligaments and labrum. The team said Love would obtain more medical opinions. There is a possibility he could need surgery, which would end his season.
Smith was suspended after swinging his arm backward and smacking Boston’s Jae Crowder in the face. Smith was ejected and Crowder sustained a sprained knee ligament.
Olynyk drew a one-game suspension, to be served in the first game of next season. Also, Cleveland’s Kendrick Perkins was fined $15,000 and his flagrant 1 foul changed to flagrant 2 for a hard screen on Crowder. Conley has surgery
Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley had facial surgery in Memphis after he was inadvertently elbowed by Portland’s CJ McCollum Saturday night during Game 3 of the teams’ Western Conference firstround series. The Grizzlies had previously announced that Conley would not play Monday in Game 4, which the Trail Blazers won, 97-92, to avoid a sweep. Memphis leads the series 3-1.
The club provided no details about the surgery or when Conley might return. Etc.
The NBA agreed to a multiyear deal that makes Stance the league’s official sock provider. The agreement allows a company logo to be featured on official NBA on-court apparel for the first time.