The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without Kevin Love for Game 7 against the Boston Celtics.
Love is experiencing concussion-like symptoms stemming from a Game 6 incident where he and Boston’s Jayson Tatum bumped heads in the first quarter of Friday’s game.
The Cavs released a statement confirming Love’s status for Sunday:
Kevin Love was evaluated today prior to the team’s flight to Boston this afternoon. He is experiencing concussion-like symptoms and has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol. He is now listed as Out for tomorrow night’s game in Boston. His status will be updated as appropriate.
Minutes before the statement was issued, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said on a conference call that Love’s status was to-be-determined for Game 7 and he was still being evaluated.
This is the second time in the series Tatum has delivered a blow to the head of one of the Cavs stars. Though with him using his own head to do it, it’s probably safe to rule out any malicious intent.
This leaves the Cavs in an incredibly difficult position heading into this pivotal game. Without Love, even more pressure falls on the shoulders of LeBron James. James suffered an injury of his own in the fourth quarter, and left the arena with a significant limp.
It’s unclear who the team will start in Love’s place, although the safe bet would probably be Jeff Green. They’ll need Green, George Hill, and the rest of the supporting cast to show up in Boston for them to even have a chance at advancing to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season.
Fear the Sword site manager Chris Manning contributed to this story.