The Cleveland Cavaliers had their shakiest season since the return of LeBron James as they enter the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Only this year the odds seem different.
The problem is, Victor Oladipo had other plans in mind.
They were 10-1 in games decided by three points or less.
If Korver isn't ready, Rodney Hood, one of four players acquired at the trade deadline, will likely start. You obviously have take the good with the bad when it comes to Lance but at least the Pacers know he isn't going to just disappear in this series.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 24 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds in Sunday's 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers themselves are not great on the defensive end but with that being said, the Pacers can turn these games into shootouts and if they do they have a very good chance to pull the upset here. He's 48-7 lifetime in first-round playoff games, with 21 consecutive wins. If you look back at the Cavaliers vs Pacers regular season game then IN holds a 3-1 advantage.
Trailing 69-50 in the third quarter, Cleveland used a 13-1 run, capped by Love's deep 3-pointer, to trim the deficit to 70-63. We project him for 57.4 FD points in Game 2. If anyone thought his regular season was a mirage that would dissolve once the playoffs started, they're sorely mistaken. I've enjoyed every year competing for a championship.We're looking for another run this year.
On the other side, it was a one-man show as James had 14 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue will use a 10-man rotation against IN and has already named Green as a starter and Calderon as a must play off the bench. The 7.2-point difference in their point differentials is the largest of this year's first-round matchups, and only one team since 2000 has lost a best-of-seven series with an edge of plus-7 or better over its opponent: the 2007 Dallas Mavericks, who lost to the eighth-seeded "We Believe" Golden State Warriors.
The mantra of the past several years of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball has been some semblance of "wait til the playoffs". Since 2012, James has not lost a single game in the first round. For the game, they hit 30-of-78 (38.5 percent) from the field, but managed just 8-of-34 (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc, with those game-long struggles making any sustained comeback effort futile. Myles Turner admitted Friday afternoon.
Stephenson had 12 points and five rebounds off the bench in 18 minutes. The total will improve from Game 1 but it still falls a little short of the number as there's a big jump to be made here. Irreconcilable differences created in the heated exchange that began January 22 when Thomas and Wade called out Love for missing a game and a practice because he was sick, with no further explanation.