Kevin Love injured, J.R. Smith likely suspended

The biggest Bulls news Sunday was news about the Cavaliers. Kevin Love dislocated his left shoulder on a dirty play by Kevin Olynyk while J.R. Smith was ejected on a flagrant two foul on Jae Crowder which may have left Crowder with multiple significant injuries.

Here's the Kevin Love video:

The early report from Brian Windhorstvia twitter is that Kevin Love will be out at least two weeks.

Nothing will be known for sure until MRI but word within Cavs team tonight is Kevin Love likely out a minimum of 2 weeks.

Kevin Love has vowed to play through the injury, but we'll see how it goes. The Cavs are obviously weaker without Love, but Love hasn't played that great this season and was one of the guys the Bulls could have abused on defense. Particularly if they went to a Mirotic/Gasol strategy.

That said, Thibodeau hasn't shown so much ingenuity in attempting things like that, so the Bulls may not have really taken advantage of Love by throwing Niko at him as much as possible.

Given that it was his left shoulder, it wouldn't surprise me if Love is back earlier than expected and simply plays through a lot of pain. That said, this would ultimately likely be to the detriment to the Cavs.

It's always silly to compare injuries, but I've had a few shoulder injuries (surgery once) and came back to play basketball too early every time. I could play but when it hurt to lift my arm over my head it really threw my shot off.

It causes just a tiny extra hitch on your guide hand and that makes a pretty big difference. It is also tougher to stay aggressive on the boards. Love's situation and injury are obviously different, but I suspect if he plays against Chicago that he'll likely be relatively ineffective.

Maybe they can give him enough pain killers and cortisone to make it work, but it just strikes me as a deal where Love's probably going to miss some time and not be at his best in the time he plays.

I feel bad for Kevin Love (and any player who gets hurt), but I don't spare any thoughts for Cleveland. Chicago just lost three playoff seasons and potentially a championship due to injuries so my sympathy for opposing fans and cities doesn't run so deep.

Here's the J.R. Smith video:

J.R. Smith has been suspended for 10 games in 2006 for his role in a brawl after getting flagrantly fouled.

In April 2013, he was suspended for game five of the playoffs for elbowing Jason Terry.

In Sept 2013, it was announced he'd be suspended for five games for violation of the league's drug policy.

In Nov 2014, he was suspended for a game for hitting Glen Rice Jr in the nuts.

He was also suspended by the Nuggets for three games for an off the court incident at a night club, but I left that one out, since it wasn't handed down by the league.

Given that he's had three league based suspensions in the past two years, two of which were for hitting players, it will be interesting to see where the league goes with this one.

He appeared to hit Crowder with a closed fist and looks like he just swung a back fist. To make matters worse, Crowder appears to suffer multiple injuries on the play, both to the had and to his leg which buckles when he goes down and has to be helped off the floor.

Smith seems destined to be suspended for a minimum of one game, and I wouldn't be surprised if the league goes for quite a bit more. The history and impact of the swing on Crowder (which could end up costing Jae millions of dollars if his injury ends up being a tear) both are likely to be considered.

The impact on the series could be significant. As Bulls fans well remember, J.R. Smith crushed the Bulls last game with his three point shooting in the first half (he then tried to shoot the Cavs out of the game by going cold in the second).

Smith's an athletic guy who can score and defend when he puts his mind to it. His inconsistency could be a detriment, but overall he was a player who helps give them depth and some reasonable amount of talent deeper into the bench.

If Smith is out, the Cavs will become even more LeBron/Kyrie focused on offense which might not be a bad thing for them in the short run, but it will make it tougher for them in the long run.

The Cavs can clearly beat the Bulls without both of these guys, but if they both missed the whole series, it would swing things from 75% Cleveland to probably 50/50 in my book.

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    If JR smith only gets 1 game, then you know the NBA is focused on getting LBJ And The cavs. This guy is a repeats offender, a guy you do not want your kid watching and learning the game from.

    If he only gets 1 game and a 100k fine. What stops others teams from doing similar things ? Why dont the Bulls ( for example ) send out nazr or cam bairstow out there try to break Kylie's leg when he comes into the lane ?

    I am not even going to get into the long term earning potential for rising star, Jae Crowder who I believe is a free agent.

    I would be tempted To suspend smith for 10 games, and let him appeal it to 5 games.

    Just a ridiculous disgusting play.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    I agree with your first sentence, and I think it's how it goes down. The NBA doesn't want to hurt LeBron's team too much, so they will go easy on JR. If he was on another team, like say, the Bulls, I do think he'd get a longer suspension. That's how it would go under Stern anyways, maybe Silver is different.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    JR Smith is one of those guys who should no longer have the privilege of playing in the NBA. Playing in the league is not a right and he is such a repeat offender that there should be some kind of 3 strikes rule.

    I could see the league going either way on this one, they could throw the book at him, or they could slap him on the wrist in order not to affect the playoffs too much. I'm actually leaning toward the first option, 5-10 games would seem like a good deal for Smith.

    I've always felt that if you injure a guy on a flagrantly dirty play then you should not be allowed to play until the injured player is healthy and able to play again, and maybe you should give up half your salary to the guy that you hurt. Obviously, the players union will never go for anything like that.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    He's been suspended 2 games, not enough in my opinion.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Feel really bad for Crowder, a guy that I wouldn't mind the Bulls targeting, kind of a poor mans Draymond Green. He is a restricted free agent this season, and I doubt the Celts would have let him go, but there is going to be a lot of crazy money tossed around this summer. Crowder would have been a very interesting case study. Is/was he more than a mid level exception guy, which is all/the most that the Bulls will have available this summer. Not even saying that he would have been the best use of the Bulls MLE, just wondering as to what his level is/would have been.

  • I think you are underestimating how much Kevin Love can space the floor for the cavs on offense

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    In reply to handushk:

    I agree 100% ......they are a diff team and LBJ will log a lot or PF mins w Love

  • It wouldn't surprise me to see Smith only get 1 game, the NBA/TNT/ESPN has to much money invested in LeBron not to have him in the NBA Finals.

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    In reply to juice44:

    Yup but that doesn't make it right or even close to fair

  • The most significant aspect of the Kevin Love injury is what it does to Clevelands offense. Love is the only strech 4 on the cavs roster. Playing two conventional bigs together will help the bulls pack the paint against Kyrie and Lebron.
    Noah got sucked into the paint numerous times in the last regular season game and Love made him pay by burying threes. This injury could be huge.

  • JR Smith should get at least 3 games for that play. That was ridiculous. I feel for K. Love and hope he comes back ok. I wonder if the Cavs will play Lebron more at the 4 when they want to go small. That has always been a tough match up for the Bulls. Will be a fun series. Need to get the W against a tough Milwaukee team tonight. If Larry Sanders had not gone crazy, this team would have been murder on defense.

  • Thanks Doug for posting those Youtube clips. Both the fake tough guy Kelly Olynyk cheap as hell shot on Love and the J.R. Smith powder keg waiting to go off head shot to Jae Crowder were intriguing plays. Honestly I thought Olynyk's play should warrant a suspension as well. He not only clamps down on Loves arm, but then tries to bend it violently which are two separate actions.

    The Cavs missing a guy in Love who is shooting .429 from three on over five attempts per game along with seven rebounds in a little over 25 minutes per game I'd say that's a loss. As for Mr. Smith I agree that the NBA tempers fines and suspensions based on team and player status because of the money involved of course, however in this case I think most believe the Cavs beat the Bulls with or without Smith. Thus I would suspect a two game suspension for that old school 1980's Pistons nasty and obviously deliberate head shot.

    As for the Bulls, you know, when you have a guy(Noah) playing 36 minutes a game and scoring four points more then a dead man on a similar field goal percentage of .375 who has yet to make a free throw... I mean come on. As some times blathering twit I know, but Charles Barkley says "I would pay for the limo and driver to make sure Joakim gets to the games on time." He is f-ing KILLING the Bulls right now.

    Then you have Mr. Inconsistency in Derrick Rose. I mean how can a guy go from averaging 26 points per game shooting over 60% from the filed and then cough up 14 points shooting 33% on twos with 8 f-ing turnovers and making two of the most boneheaded dare I say Klankesque plays you will ever see at the end of the game aka crunch time?! Derrick please check out this website it's called WTF.com.

    This Bulls team between Mirotic's poor percentages, Tony Snell's poor percentages, Thibs not helping matters by limiting their minutes so much as to be almost inviting a lack of confidence. Or just blame the players whatever. I mean Milwaukee is on of THEE worst playoff teams I've ever had the displeasure to witness. Bulls better wrap this one up tonight, and Thibs for god's sake reduce Noah's minutes and get Niko at the Four. He showed too much in March to be a footnote in this series. That is if he's healthy enough to be playing of course.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Excellent analysis. Agree with everything you said except one thing.

    The single biggest takeaway I got from reading "Moneyball" many years ago is that viewers of sporting events let their biases interfere with their judgment as to what is taking pkace on the field/court/rink etc.

    I disagree with your observation that the Bucks are one of the worst playoff teams ever. People have been saying this for the past week. It ain't so. They have been very competitive against a very good Bulls team. I have seen many first round playoff series where a team has been completely overmatched in every game. The Bucks may have their weaknesses but this is an extremely tenacious defensive team.

    For example, one of their clear strategic defensive goals has been to limit the damage from Gasol. They have succeeded in limiting Pau's normal offensive impact through aggressive double teams.

    But here is where "Moneyball" comes in. Zaza Pachulia is an excellent defender. The common (mis)conception on this board is that he is a goon who is on steroids. The first observation is flawed and the second one is ridculous. Pachulia is strong, tough, and plays excellent positional defense. Think of a Charles Oakley type. A guy who couldn't jump well, strong as an ox, and played sound positional defense. He was also a "goon" but he was our goon. He got into numerous scraps on the floor.

    Zaza has lasted in the NBA for many years because of this "talent." The numbers back this up. I think people's positive biases cloud their judgment as well. Your reference to Niko is a case in point. Often his performances do not match the praise he gets. Perhaps that reflects the position he plays. But I will save this for later.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    The Bucks right now are very similar to the Rose-less Bulls teams of the last several years; focused on tough, hard-nosed defense, with a debilitating lack of offense. I don't think anyone would have picked those Bulls teams to be championship contenders, but other teams couldn't sleep on them either. The Bucks are in the same boat now, and are only a couple high-level scorers away from being a legitimate threat.

    That being said, the Bulls are continuing to exhibit the same bad habits that have plagued them throughout the regular season (slow starts, sloppy turnovers, poor help defense...to name a few). It's difficult to see them getting past the Cavs, in such an overall unpolished state.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Maybe you've never heard of backne(google it, you've heard of that haven't you) since you've probably never been in a gym or locker room or around guys who have done steroids.

    Pachulia has had a major case of backne all season, maybe even last season. It is still obvious even now, although not nearly as bad as it was earlier in the season, probably worried about a random drug test entering the playoffs. I've seen it, and I know what it looks like and Zaza has it, or had it earlier in the season. The guy had a major injury when he was with the Hawks, I can't recall if it was an achilles or ACL. It wouldn't be the first time that a professional athlete turned to steroids to recover from an injury. In fact many guys claim that is how they started using. Pachulia was a much better player prior to the injury, actually, a guy that I liked because of his toughness, but now he has become a danger to the players that he plays against, something that I pointed out earlier in the season. There is a big difference between playing hardnosed, tough physical basketball and taking dirty shots at people that are not basketball plays. That's obviously why the league created the flagrant foul rules, and why they have become less and less tolerant of non basketball plays over the years that the flagrant rules have been in effect. I commend them for it. Oakley probably couldn't get away with the things that he did back in the day in today's league, but I'd say that he wasn't as bad as Bull as he was as a Knick, and he was never as bad as the Bad Boy Pistons(particularly Mahorn and Lambier). Pachulia isn't as bad as those guys were because you simply can't be any more, but he has tried to rough up any number of Bulls players throughout the entire season, not just this series, he is at least borderline dirty by today's standards, which makes him more goon than legitimate player. A likely cause of the change in his game besides the loss of what little athleticism he had due to injury could very likely be steroid use, which in addition to backne also causes wild mood swings and makes one prone to rage.

    But since your only purpose in life is to make excuses for MR PER, I guess that it is patently ridiculous to suggest that a professional athlete has used steroids, since as we've seen over the past 25-30 years, that never happens, and if it did, we as fans would immediately know about.

    Actually Gasol could use a nice shot of Deca-Durabolin, or even just plain Androgel maybe then he could finally grow enough facial hair to actually shave.

    Really when your best defense is pumping up Zaza Pachulia it is pretty obvious that the ship is sinking at least as fast as the sporting publics opinion of your favorite player.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That was really a pathetic cheapshot. The only point of your post was to turn it around and slam Pau, which you have made your life's work. I made a legitimate point about Pachulia and all you can do is accuse him of using drugs and not being a legitimate player. Both utterly wrong, nonsensical and stupid.

    You would be better served using this time studying for your GED. That is if you can get out of the psychiatric ward you are currently in. Talk about mood swings. Anyone reading your long, hyperbolic, and poorly written posts would think you're a real nut job. Come to think of it. You are a real nut job.

  • Kevin Love got caught up in the LBJ-D Wade Karma cycle. Wade had a vicious take down on Rondo that dislocated his shoulder on one of the dirtiest plays in the last 20 years. Only fitting that LBJ's new "superstar" teammate had it done to him. I don't wish for Love to be injured but sometimes you reap what you sow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he4OY6gJNX4

  • In reply to The Butler did it!:

    I was thinking about this play from a couple years ago myself... There was hardly any blowback against Wade.

  • In reply to The Butler did it!:

    Rondo probably deserved it!

    Years early in the playoff series against the Bulls, at the end of the game, Rondo hit the Bulls' center Miller going in for a layup with a roundhouse swing and hit to the head. Miller was knocked to the floor where he remained for several minutes. I believe he even had a tooth or two knocked out.

    Miller was woozy and missed the FTs, and the Bulls lost a close game. The coach should have pulled him instead and replaced him with their best FT shooter off the bench.

    Anyway, despite the fact that Rondo never came close to the ball, Jackson and Stern decided that no flagrant was warranted because Rondo was 'going for the ball.' The blogs erupted with contempt for the NBA heads, and most fans expected a 2-game suspension. We will see if Silver is better than Stern/Jackson!

    Also, remember a few years back when Deng had the injured wrist? Reports were that Lebron was hacking Dengs wrist, the injured one. I would have given him a flagrant for that. So if this current stuff costs Lebron another ring, IMO he deserves it!

  • In reply to The Butler did it!:

    I said shoulder, but meant elbow on the Rondo injury.

  • This is huge. I'm assuming Love misses the entire series/plays ineffectively. And, I'm assuming JR Smith misses at least the first two games - and we'll see if gets more given his history and Crowder's injury:

    Let's put this into perspective:

    Love is the #3 scorer and Smith is the #4 scorer. That's 29.1ppg gone.

    Love averages 34 mpg and Smith averages 32 mpg. That's 66 mpg gone.

    After LeBron and Kyrie, Mozgov (10.6ppg), Thompson (8.5), and Shumpert (7.2) are the next biggest contributors on offense. Then, you are getting down to guys like Jones, Marion and Dellavedova.

    If the Bulls cannot clamp down on LeBron and Kyrie and make the other guys beat them - they do not deserve to win! Just double those guys all over the floor. Put Brooks in to deny Kyrie all over the court for stretches... anything to make these guys work!

    First, need to finish business tonight. Milwaukee will not just go away, as pathetic as they are on offense.

  • Doug, with all due respect, I don't think the Bucks are the worst playoff team. Their defense is probably one of the best, just like the Bulls were on the past 2 years. They are where they are because of their defense and their ability to generate turnovers. Put the Bucks in a series against the Celtics or Nets and I bet they win with their defense. O.J. Mayo can get hot on 3's and then you have a decent offense team. That's the reason they finished with a .500 pct.
    The Bulls will likely win tonight, but I don't expect a blowout, just because they will have to work hard to avoid turnovers.
    As far as the Cavs is concerned, any team with a best player of the world is favorite, regardless who is in or who is out. They still have many shooters to spread the floor besides Love and J.R., so I still don't think the Bulls are the favorite to beat the Cavs. I also think the NBA, from a business perspective, favors the Cavs on the finals as it would get more media than the Bulls. So, hopefully we can overcome these obstacles and beat the Cavs. IT IS ABOUT TIME FOR THE BULLS TO GET LUCKY!!!!

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Agree with your analysis for the most part. The only thing I really take issue with is the media argument. Sure, Lebron would probably guarantee more TV viewers and more hype but you still have to win the games on the floor. The media can't do that for you. Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    J.R. should be suspended for at least 5 games, but they may give him only 1 game suspension, because he is important for James. This is one way to help the Media.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    The Bucks are no better than the third worst playoff team, and wold not have been a play off team in the west. Given the clear inferiority of the east, it would be ludicrous to suggest that they are better than any of the West teams, and probably not better than at least 2 West teams that didn't make the playoffs, OKC and Utah. At best it is a toss up between the Bucks and either Boston or Brooklyn for the worst playoff team. Boston has a great coach doing a great job with their talent, and Brooklyn is an underacheiving bunch of name brand stars, which now that you mention it would be the perfect team for the S.O.L.(Statue of Liberty) to play on.

    The Bucks play hard, just like those Bulls teams did, but right now are nowhere near as good/talented as the .500 Bulls teams under Del Bimbo, one of which engaged the Celtics in that epic series. That Bulls team was way better than this Bucks team just as that Celtics team was way better than this Bulls team, otherwise they would not have taken the defending champs to 7 games and almost as many overtimes.

  • ZaZa Pachulia compares to Charles Oakley..?

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    In his physical defense. Not his rebounding. Notice I said an "Oakley Type." Meaning you can play sturdy defense without outstanding athleticism and stay in the league for many years. His defensive metrics are very good.

  • Is that hilarious or what, first play, pick and roll at the S.O.L.(statue of liberty) on roller skates, uncontested layup escorted to the rim by the backpeddling S.O.L., apparently the skates are well oiled tonight.

  • these turnovers are just unbelievable

  • Perfect example #12, opening minutes of the second half. S.O.L. gets an offensive rebound(hooray) 2 inches from the rim, instead of powering down a dunk(and 1)like a real 7 ftr would he puts up some pansey ass shot that misses while simultaneously ending up laying on his butt in the lane as Pachulia rips the ball away for a fast break for the Bucks. The Bucks miss this initial shot but get a rebound putback and a foul. Finally after the whistle blows the S.O.L. is seen sauntering back into the picture near the free throw line. Obviously, It takes a lot of effort to get that 7 ft body of the floor and then actually run down the floor to play defense, why not just walk, especially since there is no stat for getting back on transition defense at least not one that increases your PER, then look around at your teammates shake your head and put your palms up in the air as if to say what the fuck is going on. Yea, nothing about that is either soft or nauseating, or blatantly obvious to anyone watching without some fucked up agenda to be a contrarian duchebag.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    A few minutes later on Jimmy Butler's steal and fastbreak anyone notice how fast Gasol ran down the court from defense to offense, not quite as fast as Noah, but he was right there in the picture. Why the difference in effort in transition from offense getting back to play defense vs the other way around, yea thats not being mentally soft in addition to physically.

  • How the fuck do we have no answer for the Mulatto Pillsbury dough boy(Dudley). Not really going to break down how he got so wide open at the 3 point line on an inbounds play (hint, it did have something to do with the Statue of Liberty(S.O.L.)) It is really hard to believe how badly that guy(Dudley) has hurt us in this series.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Nice racist comment, Toad.

  • It's kinda sad to see Noah these days, he looks like he's struggling just to stay on his feet. He's got no lift at all, his vertical can't be more than 2-3 inches. I can only hope that a full off-season to recover improves his health but I doubt he'll ever be the same player he has been. He's not starter caliber right now, not even at C.

    I won't defend Pau's defense but he's stepping up his offense here late in the game.

  • Henson with back to back big plays on both ends of the court, who's he matched up against again. didn't some self proclaimed genius tell us that somebody was dominating both Henson and Pachulia combined by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Pay attention. This why you are a moron.

    Dunleavy-0/0/0 complete nothing
    Butler-5 for 21 bad game for him
    Rose-5 for 20- 6 TOs horrible on both ends
    Mirotic-3/1/3 atrocious
    Snell-0/3/0 ditto
    Kirk- no comment
    Brooks- too little, ineffective in series
    Pau- 25/10/4/2 continually double-teamed but every post you slam his performance

    No sense of proportion, vindictive, ignorant, wrong. That about covers it. That is what you are.

    By the way, make sure the nurse in your ward at the psychiatric hospital gives you your evening pill.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Typo- "This is why you are a moron." But, in fact, there are many more reasons-but so little time.

  • Can the Bulls play more up tempo, perhaps? Rose is useless in the half court against MCW.

  • I've never been so pissed off wat bing an entire game. Brutal. Dumbest turnovers ever!

    Plus, how does Thibs not put anyone but Rose on MCW?! MCW does the same move every time... Why can't Rose get to the rim like MCW?! I know they have length and are packing the lane, but Thibs needs to change it up!

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