Kevin Love did not play in the Cavaliers’ Game 7 victory over the Celtics. That’s because he entered the league’s concussion protocol when he exited early in their Game 6 victory after butting heads with Jayson Tatum midway through the first quarter.
It’s unclear if he’ll be available for Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Love accidentally butted heads with Jayson Tatum on an away-from-the-ball play midway through the first quarter of Game 6. He went down, held his head and immediately signaled to the athletic trainer/medical staff that something was very wrong.
Love and Tatum OUCH! pic.twitter.com/awgxsFXoKu— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) May 26, 2018
Love exited the game and went straight to the locker room. That was terrible news for the Cavaliers, though they persevered to win Games 6 and 7. Love has a history of head injuries, including concussions in 2016 and earlier this season.
According to the NBA’s concussion policy summary, a player who is diagnosed with a concussion cannot return to any type of basketball activity that day or the day after. He must then pass a series of requirements, including being free of concussion-related symptoms while resting, an examination by a physician, completing the league’s rigorous return to participation exertion protocol, then being signed off on by the director of the NBA concussion program.
It’s a necessary set of steps to ensure a player is free of concussion symptoms. Now, we’ll see if Love will clear the protocol by Thursday’s Game 1 of the NBA Finals.