Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - what to watch

Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers - what to watch

IN guard Victor Oladipo scored 32 points, hitting 6 of 9 attempts from 3-point range, to power the Pacers to a 98-80 victory over the host Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday in Game 1 of an opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo (32 points) or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence.

The Pacers shot 45.6 percent from the field and drained 11 of their 28 three point attempts in the contest.

IN led by as many as 23 points and held the Cavs to the lowest points at home this term. But if IN is to break LeBron James's streak, they need to ride advantages like this.

Lance Stephenson avoided being called for a flagrant foul for smacking LeBron James in the head while playing defense in the third quarter of Game 1 of their playoff series on Sunday. While Green shot only 31.2 percent from 3-point range overall this season, he made nine of 17 from beyond the arc in his last five games, highlighted by a 33-point effort in a loss at Philadelphia.

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But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday's Game 2 will be on the struggles of Cleveland's playoff newcomers, James isn't anxious.

The Cavaliers never led, but battled hard in the second-half before coming up well short. This will be Cleveland's best gameplan, as they can play to their strength while also exposing Indiana's weakness.

"If we're playing with pace and pushing the basketball, a five's first instinct is to get back to the basket", Lue said.

Since February 20, there have been 30 lineups to play more than 10 minutes for the Cavaliers. As his game continues to develop into an effective sidekick for James, teams will continue to struggle defending him. 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. Haven't won a series since beating Washington in six games in the 2014 semifinals.

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Both the Cavs and Pacers have dealt with the injury bug this season. Furthermore, James will play all 82 games for the first time in his career.

Sunday afternoon's Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game gets started at 3:30 PM. They also won three out of four against Cleveland this season, though all of those games came pre-deadline, so it's tough to read too much into that.

This past year, the former IN star ranked ninth IN the league IN scoring (23.1 ppg) and first IN steals (2.36 spg) - topping the 20-point plateau on 51 occasions, including 12 games with 30 or more. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue plans to use a 10-man rotation during Cleveland's opening-round playoff series against Indiana. The Indiana Pacers have a team full of roughriders and won't enter this series intimated one bit. The Pacers are 4-18 wheb losing Game 1.

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