Hello friends. It's your friend Mike, and I come here all day with live updates and more from this Cavaliers-Pacers Game 1.
Pacers 55, Cavaliers 38, Halftime
Raise your hand if you expected this. Now put your stupid head.
Indiana Pacers are good friends. Maybe you did not look at them, because they only played a national TV game all season, but they are fast, tough, athletic and amazing shoot the ball from all three zones on the court (three-point range, mid-range, and at the rim). Victor Oladipo is not just a good story. He is legitimately one of the six best guards in the league.
Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers did not look at them much either. Indiana raced forward to an 1
Oladipo destroys these Cavs. No one can guard him, and the one who is trying to get stoned by his speed. Oladipo is allowed to enter five threes (he has done four) like this.
This is quite a lot like the first half.
Cleveland will play harder during the second half, but Pacers have the kind of team that makes it difficult to conceal defensive shoulder. All five of their entrees can shoot or drive, so they are all hot. It is no surprise that Indiana outscored Cleveland with 16 points with his starting line in (Oladipo, Darren Collison, Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic), and only at one point with all other lineups.
The Cavs are in trouble, man.
Pacers 50, Cavaliers 34, 2:16 left in the 2nd quarter
Please mic these two up each game. Please.
Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo is everywhere, especially defensive. It's as if he's performing a series of hit-and-run attacks.
Pacers 42, Cavaliers 32, 5:16 left in the 2nd quarter
Cleveland is far from fixed but I think Pacers lets them down the hook by playing Cory Joseph and Lance Stephenson together. It gives LeBron James a defensive shooting / roaming site.
This also helped.
But the problem for the Pacers is now that the cavalry can play four shooters without LeBron without sacrificing the defense. Any problems Cavaliers has with rim protection is now erased with Bron roaming. I would get Darren Collison back there sooner than later.
Pacers 33, Cavaliers 21, 10:22 left in the 2nd quarter
Tyronn Lue decided not to take LeBron James after playing the entire first quarter, which is understandable considering Pacers led 19 points after the first quarter. Nate McMillan did not do the same with Victor Oladipo.
Therefore, the Cavaliers made seven straight points, including a LeBron quick breakdunk when he apparently drove cherries. I laughed.
LeBron also called the bench to come out for that game, so I guess we know why he was driving cherry.
Pacers 33, Cavaliers 14, end of the first quarter
Hello, psst, Cavs. Guess what. When you drop Victor Oladipo to pick and roll, he waits for you to run away so he can drag the three. Maybe do not run away from him?
Oladipo already has 11 points, four rebounds and two stalks. This is unbelievable.
Also, PLAYOFF LAAAAANCE.
Stanchion plays better defense than the Cavaliers. I think Lance just wanted a challenge.
Pacers 18, Cavaliers 4, 4:30 left in the 1st quarter
Tyron Lue's big playoff backfick adjustment to get Cavaliers to defend moderately competent is to put LeBron James on Darren Collison to launch belongings. I'm not sure what purpose this serves, because even though LeBron is streaming, Collison is a dead-eyed three-point shooter.
Meanwhile, the cavalries seem strangely prepared with India's strategy to put Bojan Bogdanovic on LeBron James and get Victor Oladipo to wander in the lanes. Strange, because that's what Pacers have done the whole season. After a coarse Rodney Hood, the cavalry Kyle Korver started trying to make Oladipo yours, but Korver began to be cold.
Kavarna forced a couple of early sales settlements that precipitated Oladipo, including this George Hill sludge.
But … oh … that did not continue to work. Indiana has been faster to the ball than its opponent all season, and the same is true during this amazing early run. Try to occupy Oladipo has not worked – just look at him break up this two-against-one quick break.
The problem with Cleveland's roaming strategy is that all five Pacer launchers can shoot and attack. Asking LeBron to fly from someone he does not protect works best when LeBron's husband is not a threat. That player is not in Pacer's starting lineup, and because of that, one of India's five starters can easily attack the rim without resistance.
So yes. Beta, you're surprised.
By Eric Stephen
Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers turn out to be a fun 4-5 matchup in the first round of NBA playoffs, and LeBron James strives to extend a noticeable playoff streak.
James, who has played in seven consecutive NBA finals, has been understandably very effective in the first round of the playoffs and won all 12 such series in his career dating back to 2006. But in recent years he has has been even more dominant in the opening round and won 21 straight first-round finals.
His last first round came with the warmth of 2012 and lost Game 4 to Knicks before closing the series in five games. James in the first round of the playoffs is a remarkable 48-7 (.873).
Indiana was expected to be an also-run this season, projected by Bovada during the offense with an over / under only 31½ wins. Instead, they ended 48-34, good for fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers also scored Cavs in three of their four regular season matchups. But to continue the success of this fall season and reach the second round for the first time in four years, Indiana must come across LeBron, which has proved to be damn almost impossible over the past ten years.
Cavalier against Pacers Game 1 info
Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
Duration: 15:30 ET
Message: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
Online streaming: See ESPN