The Cleveland Cavaliers offered little clarity on Kevin Love’s status for Game 7 on Saturday.
The Cavaliers announced that Love remains in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and there’s no word on whether he’ll be able to play in Sunday’s Game 7 with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) May 26, 2018
As a reminder, Love has a number of steps to clear before he can be allowed to play.
Now that Kevin Love is officially in the NBA’s concussion protocol, here are the steps he would have to pass to be cleared to play again: pic.twitter.com/mAde9ZzXHG
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 26, 2018
Love considers himself a toss-up. This one could go down to the wire.
The Cleveland Cavaliers forced a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Boston Celtics on Friday night, but it sounds like All-Star big man Kevin Love will be very much questionable for that deciding contest.
Love, who was injured in the first quarter on a collision with Jayson Tatum and did not return to the game, told Jason Lloyd of The Athletic afterwards that he was a “toss-up” for Sunday’s Game 7 in Boston. Lloyd also noted that Love will have more tests to pass before he receives any clearance.
Saw Kevin Love on his way out of the arena. Sounds like we'll have more answers tomorrow. He has more tests to pass before he can be cleared to play. As for his status for Sunday: "Toss-up," he said.
— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydNBA) May 26, 2018
The Cavs were mostly tight-lipped about Love’s status during the game, but the concern here is that he may have suffered a concussion. Jeff Green and Larry Nance Jr helped picked up the slack for Love for the rest of Game 6 (on top of another superhuman performance by LeBron James, of course). But it remains to be seen how well-equipped the already-thin Cavs will be if the star big man is out for Sunday’s Game 7 as well.
Kevin Love has been declared out for the remainder of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night after hitting his head in a collision with Jayson Tatum.
Love checked out with just under seven minutes to go in the first quarter. He had run into Tatum and appeared to hit his head on the Boston Celtics forward’s head/shoulder. Love went down immediately and called to the bench to be subbed out.
Oh no. Kevin Love looks pretty banged up after bumping heads with Jayson Tatum… pic.twitter.com/b7OXcJc67m
— Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX) May 26, 2018
Love had four rebounds in five minutes prior to leaving the game.
Love was taken into the locker room for evaluation. At halftime word emerged that he would be out for the rest of the game as he was evaluated for a concussion.
If Love does get diagnosed with a concussion, it would be tough for him to be cleared from the league’s concussion protocol in time for a potential Game 7.
According to NBC Sports Boston, a player needs the following to be cleared from concussion protocol:
– He is without concussion-related symptoms at rest.
– He has been evaluated by a physician.
– He has successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion protocol.
– A team physician has discussed the return-to-participation process and decision with the Director of the NBA concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher.
Kevin Love’s performance in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday night earned him high marks from even LeBron James’ daughter.
According to Cleveland.com’s Hayden Grove, LeBron was on FaceTime with his daughter in the Cavs’ locker room after Game 4. Zhuri, who is 3.5 years old, asked to speak with Love to congratulate him.
Great scene in Cavs locker room. LeBron was FaceTiming his daughter, Zhuri. She asked to see Kevin Love. Someone brought the phone over to Kevin and she said “good game!”
Kevin responded, “Not me, that was your Dad.” #Cavs
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) May 22, 2018
Love shot just 3-for-12 with 9 points and six turnovers, though he did have 11 rebounds. As if his Cleveland Cavaliers getting the 111-102 win over Boston weren’t enough to make him feel good, the love from Zhuri had to push things over the top.
Kevin Love exited Friday night’s Cleveland Cavaliers-Indiana Pacers playoff game after taking an elbow to the face.
Love was down low to fight for a rebound following a LeBron James missed jumper early in the third quarter. He got caught in the face by an inadvertent elbow from Myles Turner and went down to the floor.
Love’s Cavs were down 62-47 in Game 6 of the series at the time that he got hurt. Love remained on the floor but missed two possessions entirely and then was kind of a non-factor for another two possessions — though he grabbed one rebound — before there was finally a timeout called to get Love out of the game.
Tristan Thompson entered the game for Love to get some rare minutes in the series. Love had seven points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes before exiting the game.
It’s been a rough season for Love filled with fluke injuries. He suffered a broken hand in late January, he had a tooth knocked out by an elbow in March, and he got his thumb examined after jamming it earlier in the series. Now he took a tough elbow to the face.
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Ty Lue expects Kevin Love to play in Game 3 of their playoff series with the Indiana Pacers despite an injury scare late in Game 2.
Love jammed his thumb while reaching for a steal in the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ Game 2 win. He left for the bench and was examined and then taped up.
Love injuring his thumb seemed more concerning because he previously missed time this year due to a broken bone in the same hand. But Lue said after Game 2 that Love just has a jammed thumb and will be fine for Game 3.
Ty Lue says that Kevin Love is good to play in Game 3. Just had a jammed thumb. He didn’t go back in the game because Lue liked the flow of the team he had on the floor. https://t.co/NWOPYnybp5
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 19, 2018
Love also said after the game that he expects to play in Game 3 and made it seem like the injury was a non-issue.
Game 3 of the series will be on Friday in Indianapolis with the series tied at 1-1.
Kevin Love left Game 2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers-Indiana Pacers series on Wednesday to have his left thumb examined.
Love was looking to get a steal in the fourth quarter when his left thumb got jammed by the ball. He reacted in immediate pain, and the video shown by TNT appeared to show Love’s thumb being bent awkwardly.
Kevin Love jamming his thumb is slow motion OOOOUCHHHH pic.twitter.com/e33xHdPO6V
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) April 19, 2018
Love went to the bench where his thumb was examined by the Cavs’ medical staff. TNT’s Allie Laforce later said that Love was being tested to see where he was feeling pain and that the Cavs forward would have his hand taped.
Love missed significant time earlier this year with a fracture in his left hand, so seeing him injure the hand again is no doubt frustrating.
Love had 15 points and eight rebounds at the time of his injury. He had made just five of 16 shots.