The Cleveland Cavaliers may have progressed to the second round of the NBA playoffs without losing a game, but the team didn't exactly escape the Boston Celtics unscathed.
Concern that began after a Game Four injury to in-form Kevin Love intensified yesterday by the confirmation that JR Smith will be suspended for two games as punishment for his violent flailing arm in the same fixture.
More bad news
And now, with Cavaliers fans hoping for some positive news on Love to ease the fears of a tough second round series, the franchise's own GM was the one to deliver a blow today that has the potential to derail their entire postseason push.
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As reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin believes there is little to no chance that we see Kevin Love back in a 2015 playoff game - no matter how deep into the postseason Cleveland get.
Love exited Sunday night's game against the Celtics after tangling up with Kelly Olynyk - an issue that was later diagnosed as a dislocated left shoulder. The player himself, after accusing his opponent of a dirty play, has spoken of his hope that he would recover in time to take part in the early stages of the Cavs' second round series.
That now appears out of the question, and the fact that David Blatt and his team won't welcome Love back even if they reach the Conference Finals and beyond could have major implications as they bid to reach the latter stages.
Despite his first season in Cleveland not going exactly as planned, Kevin Love had begun the 2015 playoffs in fine form.
While the rest of the star studded roster were able to see off the challenge of Boston on Sunday night there are tougher challenges ahead.
The Chicago Bulls - despite losing two straight to bring their series with the Bucks to 3-2 - look to be next in line, and, with their big line up including the likes of Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol, Love would have been a very useful player in stretching Chicago.
As it is though the big three has become a big two. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving will have added responsibility moving forward for sure, but Griffin isn't betting against his guys just yet.
Cavs fans: How much of a blow is the loss of Kevin Love? Can you still go on and win the title? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...
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