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etvfutures.com April 26, 2018


Why you shouldn't overreact to Cleveland's Game 1 Loss to the Pacers

17 April 2018, 02:38 | Sandy Nunez

The Pacers just stomped the Cavs in Cleveland

Mike Wells previews the Pacers Cavaliers series

Fast forward to the playoffs, and the Pacers just woke everyone up to how good they are, as they took Game in, in Cleveland, to take a 1-0 series lead against the Cavs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers got their playoff campaign off to a shaky start against the Indiana Pacers, losing Game 1, 98-80, marking the first time LeBron James had lost a first round game since 2012.

IN took control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and pushing it to 23 in the third.

LeBron James finished the game with a triple-double tallying 24 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds while Victor Oladipo led the way for the Pacers with 32 points, 4 assists, and 6 rebounds.

The Celtics featured five players with at least 19 points in their 113-107 overtime game-one win over the Bucks. Al Horford led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

"He just has to be more aggressive by attacking the basket and being more decisive offensively", Lue said. Chris Paul added two free throws after that for Houston, but a tip-in by Karl-Anthony Towns got Minnesota back within 3.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers were in solid form themselves as they had won six of their last eight regular season games but they just didn't come out with that sense of urgency and found themselves trailing by 20 points in the blink of an eye. The Pacers will look to get more from guys like Darren Collison, Domantas Sabonis and Thaddeus Young as the series wears on. The Cavs stormed back and got within seven, but Oladipo hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71. He made 8 of 11 shots from long range, and 13 of 20 shots overall. Jeff Green played 27 minutes and did not score a single point.

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But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday's game two will be on the struggles of Cleveland's play-off newcomers, James isn't anxious.

Cleveland scored just 14 points in the first quarter and 15 in the fourth quarter. Kevin Love and Rodney Hood narrowly missed that threshold with nine points apiece, with Love collecting a game-high 17 rebounds. IN was swept by Cleveland in last year's opening round. However, each surge by the Cavs was countered by the Pacers, who ended up taking a 55-38 lead into halftime. "We just gotta shoot the ball and if you make it, you make it, and if you miss, you miss".

After the Pacers' 98-80 victory - fueled by mediocre offensive performances by all the starters other than James - the questions have multiplied.

"I have no idea, and I really don't care", Oladipo said, pausing after "idea" for effect.

It's a fairly safe bet that Game 2 won't be as ugly offensively as the opener was for Cleveland. The miserable loss made history for LeBron James as well, not all happy history either.

Several players on the roster also had limited or no postseason experience, making Game 1 expectations hard to quantify.



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