Celtics center Kelly Olynyk said there was no attempt to injure Cavaliers forward Kevin Love. Love has a separted shoulder and will reportedly miss at least two weeks.
Love got tangled up with Olynyk while chasing down a loose ball with five minutes left in the first quarter of Cleveland’s 101–93 series-clinching victory.
Love reached for the ball with his right hand as Olynyk held onto his left arm. Love left the game and did not return.
The Cavaliers say that Love has a dislocated left shoulder, with reports that he will miss the next two weeks. Cleveland awaits the winner of the Chicago Bulls-Milwaukee Bucks series. Chicago leads that best-of-seven series 2-1.
Olynyk strongly refuted any claims that he hurt Love on purpose and says he tried unsuccessfully to reach out to Love after the game.
“That’s ridiculous,” Olynyk said to the Boston Herald. “I would never intentionally hurt Kevin or anyone else. He locked my arm up, I locked up his as we were fighting for a loose ball. You lock up arms all the time in this league.
“I wish him a very speedy recovery, and I hope he can come back to help his team in the playoffs."
Love insisted the play was “bush league" and wants the NBA to take a closer look at this play.
"Olynyk was in a compromising position, had no chance to get the ball and it’s just too bad that he would go to those lengths to take somebody out of the game and do that to someone. I have no doubt in my mind that he did that on purpose,” Love said. “The league will take a look at it and it better be swift and just."
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge defended his second-year player.
“I know Kelly didn’t do it on purpose,” Ainge said. “Guys get their arms tangled up all the time in this game. I know the NBA will look into it—they look into everything like this—and they may call Kelly. We just wish Kevin well and hope he can play again (in the playoffs).”
- Scooby Axson