Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

NBA Playoffs: Breaking down the Cavs-Pacers series

Tyronn Lue hasn't let on much about who he plans to start on Sunday afternoon, but he'll have all of Cleveland's backcourt healthy and at his disposal. While the Cavaliers' shooting from the field improved during the quarter, they again delivered some self-inflicted wounds by missing five free throws in the period.

Nothing has been typical about this season for the Cavs. LeBron James is averaging 27.5 points and 9.1 assists while Kevin Love is averaging 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds.

The Pacers have also been good at defending the 3-point shot, ranking 5th in 3 point % allowed, at a measly 34.9% which is going to be vital against the Cavaliers.

James-led teams had won 21 consecutive first-round games with the Miami Heat and Cavaliers. The other spot could go to veteran shooter Kyle Korver, who has been slowed by a foot injury and whose status remains uncertain. And you know I don't mean only the players, but the coaching staff and everybody.

They'll face a vastly different Cavaliers squad than the one they took three of four against, with the last meeting taking place five weeks before a trio of roster-altering deals turned the Wine & Gold's season around.

"We were definitely mad", Stephenson said. On eight occasions, they rallied from at least 15 points down to pull wins from the ashes. 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.

Thompson was excused from Thursday's practice because of the birth of his daughter. They know that the regular season is an exercise in patience and the postseason is when they need to really commit to winning basketball games.

It's not that Gilbert was out of line or anything with his comment - plenty of people had their doubts about that trade at the time - but it is a reminder that sometimes what you say can come back to bite you. If you don't have a participating ISP for the ABC games, or don't have cable for the ESPN games, you can use your Hulu, DirecTV Now or Sling TV credentials to sign in.

Not Lue. Not this year. "He just has to be great for us, and I think he will".

The Cavs fell behind 33-12 during a unusual first quarter that included Cleveland missing all eight 3-pointers, James not attempting his first field goal until 1:52 remained and fans in Quicken Loans Arena wondering what they were seeing.

The Pacers, who play like a team not a group of individuals who care more about a paycheck than winning games, will make this a series, unlike what George could do for IN a year ago. I'm not even saying I think the Pacers will lose.

When playing the Pacers, one of the more effective strategies they have used has been to "blitz" the dribbler to defuse a potential pick-and-roll run by Oladipo.

Cleveland climbed back within seven following James' layup with 10:29 to play, forcing a timeout from Pacers head coach Nate McMillan.

That can't happen this time.

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