Cavs' All-Star Love sidelined with left knee injury
NBA.com staff reports
CLEVELAND — Cavaliers forward Kevin Love’s sore left knee will sideline him for at least one game and could keep him out of the All-Star game.
Love complained of soreness in his knee following Saturday’s win over Denver. He underwent an MRI on Sunday, and while the Cavs did not reveal results of the tests, they said Love will miss Tuesday’s game at Minnesota – his former team.
Love scored 16 points with nine rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes against the Nuggets.
The Cavs said Love, who recently missed several games with back spasms, will undergo further treatment and evaluation in the next few days. After visiting the Timberwolves, the Cavs will host Indiana on Wednesday night in the final game before the All-Star break.
Given Love’s injury, on top of some recent issues with back spasms, it remains to be seen if he joins LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as teammates on the East All-Star squad. A three-time selection out West while playing for Minnesota, Love returned to All-Star status this season, averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds in 46 games so far for Cleveland.
If NBA commissioner Adam Silver has to name a replacement for Love, the top finishers not selected among East frontcourt players in the new fan/media/player balloting system were (in order) Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, New York’s Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony, Milwaukee’s Jabari Parker and Miami’s Hassan Whiteside.
Embiid has not played since Jan. 27 due to knee pain, while Parker’s season ended Wednesday night with a torn ACL in the left knee he had surgically repaired two years ago.Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds in his third season with the defending NBA champions. He’s been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks, but both the 28-year-old and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue have dismissed the idea of him being dealt. The trading deadline is Feb. 23.
Love’s absence leaves the Cavs even more short-handed up front. Tristan Thompson and Channing Frye are the team’s only legitimate big men, and Lue will have to juggle his rotation again. He could start either James Jones or Derrick Williams, who has been impressive in two games after signing a 10-day contract with the Cavs earlier this week.
Cleveland is hoping to get back guard Iman Shumpert, who has missed three games with a sprained left ankle.