Memories of the ill-fated 2015 postseason appeared when Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love exited Thursday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers due to a left shoulder injury.
Fortunately for Cleveland, though, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin notes Love said the early departure was merely a stinger and shouldn’t be a long-term problem.
“At the time I didn’t know really what it was. Just like when you get hit in the funny bone, the elbow has shooting pain. It felt like fire was running down my arm. Just a stinger, and doctors decided we’ll be cautious and use the break for it to feel better, but it actually feels OK right now.”
Caution was the proper route to take, that’s for certain. A dislocated shoulder stopped Love’s postseason during the first round.
The Cavaliers toppled Los Angeles 120-111 anyway, and Love simply received an early start to the All-Star break. Cleveland’s next game is Feb. 18 against the Chicago Bulls.
While losing to the Lakers isn’t exactly encouraging, an early-February shortcoming as the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference isn’t debilitating to playoff hopes. Entering the brief rest period, the Cavs hold a three-game lead over the Toronto Raptors.
Love’s health moving forward was obviously more important. After all, he described the initial pain as “fire … running down my arm.” That doesn’t necessarily equate to “rub some dirt on it.”
Though the forward said he doesn’t expect to miss any games, Cleveland general manager David Griffin suggested the team won’t be without Love for long. Either result is good news for the Cavaliers.