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etvfutures.com April 22, 2018


Pacers Talk LeBron, Trying To Upset Cavaliers

16 April 2018, 04:55 | Sandy Nunez

Kevin Love Admits LeBron James' Free Agency 'Definitely Could' Impact The Cavaliers In The Playoffs

2018 NBA Playoffs: Breaking down the Cavs-Pacers series

Will be updated. With AP Photos.

The Pacers won the season series, but it's hard to know how much to read into that with all the changes that the Cavaliers went through.

According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Cavaliers are a 6.5-point favorite on the spread line. In four meetings with the Celts during the regular season, the Greek Freak averaged 33.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 5 assists.

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots the ball against the Indiana Pacers in Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 15, 2018 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Pacers, who led by as many as 23 in the quarter, had to settle for a 73-65 advantage after three quarters.

After the Cavaliers closed the deficit to 76-69 with a driving layup by James, the Pacers answered with a 12-2 run, including 3-pointers by Oladipo and Bogdanovic, to take 88-71 lead with 7:28 to go in the fourth quarter. Although Cleveland wasn't able to finish No. 1 overall in the conference, National Basketball Association betting pundits agree there're few teams that will be able to beat them in a best of 7 series. IN ranks nearly at the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating, at 12th and 14th respectively.

The first is mostly ceremonial: LeBron James will begin his now-annual social media blackout for the remainder of the playoffs. Cleveland is trying to become only the fifth team to play in four straight NBA Finals (yes, the Celtics of the 1960's and '80's made this list) in league history.

James returned to Cleveland in 2014 after a four-year stay with the Miami Heat.

While some fans are getting their first look at Oladipo, the Pacers have seen this before. The Cavs vs Pacers series has all the markings of going the distance.

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Oladipo has become one of the NBA's rising stars, and after being a role player in Oklahoma City, he's Indiana's main attraction and looked like a seasoned star on the playoff stage.

Lue has a lot of decisions to make in regards to his rotation, but plans to go with LeBron James, Kevin Love, Jeff Green and George Hill as his starters.

The Pacers drove him into a darker place.

The Cavaliers - with Irving - swept IN in the first round previous year, but all games were close. Victor Oladipo is nearly certainly going to win Most Improved Player, his teammate Domantas Sabonis could finish in the top-5 as well, and a healthy Myles Turner is liable to have a big game here and there. Listen, it's going to be a very good matchup. "We've had many film sessions and one-on-one sessions to try to improve and he's shown that". Because of injuries and trades, Lue has been forced to shuffle his lineups all season, and the postseason will be no different. IN came in 15-6 in the playoffs when it wins the opener. But can he help his Cavaliers push on to the finals once more? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) tops the list.

It's been a long time since LeBron James lost a first round game.

Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley's philosophy in the playoffs was: "You rotate eight players".

Game 3 back home is Friday night at 7.



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