BOSTON (CBS) — As the Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Boston Celtics out of the playoffs on Sunday, Kevin Love was watching from the locker room.
And he wasn’t very happy about it after the game.READ MORE: Man Arrested After Armed Robbery At Haverhill Pot Shop
Love left Cleveland’s Game 4 victory with 5:22 to go in the first quarter with a shoulder dislocation, the product of getting tangled up with Celtics’ center/forward Kelly Olynyk as they fought for a rebound:
Love immediately ran to the Cleveland locker room and did not return to the game. He’ll get an MRI in Cleveland later Sunday, and hopes to be good to go when the Cavs face their next opponent.
But following the game, Love let everyone know his displeasure with Olynyk.
“I thought it was a bush league play,” Love told reporters. “I have no doubt in my mind he did it on purpose.”
“The league will take a look at it, and they better be swift and just,” added Love.
Love’s teammates shared his view on the play.
“I’ve seen the replay and it didn’t look like a basketball play. I’ve seen a lot of tie-ups in my day, that tie-up was a little different,” said LeBron James. “You don’t wish that on nobody. Now we sit with one of our big guys out, possibly. [Celtics forward Jae Crowder] may be out for a period of time as well. You never want the game to get out of hand, and you want guys to play it the right way.”
Cleveland coach David Blatt said he didn’t see the play live and didn’t think Olynyk had any intent to injure. But his tune changed a bit when he was told of Love’s comments.READ MORE: Gov. Baker Proposes Waiving Massachusetts Sales Tax For All Of August And September
“I didn’t see the play. But Kevin did, and if that’s what he thinks… He was the closest guy to it,” said Blatt. “This is a beautiful game, and it’s also a physical game. You have to expect physicality, but there is a line, and that line shouldn’t be crossed. That’s what the league is for.”
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens defending his player after the loss, and doesn’t think Olynyk meant to hurt Love on the play.
“I didn’t see it live, and thought it was two guys locking each other,” said Stevens, who watched a replay of the play at halftime. “I can’t imagine there was any negative intent on Kelly, and I hope Kevin is OK to play whenever they play next. You want the best players on the court for each team at all times. Like Jae [Crowder] with us, you hope he’s OK.”
Stevens was alluding to a play in which Crowder hurt his leg in the third quarter. As Crowder and J.R. Smith battled for position, Smith swung his arm and clocked Crowder in the face. As he went to the floor, Crowder’s leg bent back awkwardly and he had to be helped off the court. He did not return.
Smith was hit with a flagrant two, and likely faces a suspension from the league.
When asked about Love’s comments, Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said Boston can lodge similar complaints towards Cleveland.
“We can say the same thing,” Thomas said. “We’re all men here, we don’t need to cry and tell you guys. It is what it is, it’s playoff basketball. We don’t want to hurt anybody but things happen. You have to move forward.”
Asked if he was referring Smith’s foul and a forearm from Cavs center Kendrick Perkins to Crowder earlier in the contest, Thomas said it’s all part of the game.
“You can’t do anything about it now; it happened in the game in the heat of the battle,” said Thomas. “But you can say the same thing about any of the incidents that happened. Guys were fighting and trying to win a game.”
The Cavaliers are moving on and the Celtics now enter their offseason, but their rivalry is alive and well once again.