NBA Playoffs: Breaking down the Cavs-Pacers series

Apr 15, 2018, 05:58
NBA Playoffs: Breaking down the Cavs-Pacers series

The 33-year-old has never lost a first-round series or the first game of an opening series in his career across 13 seasons.

#LeBron James has been the highest scorer in 21 of the Cavaliers 28 games since the trade deadline.

"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now: Go out and try to dominate", James said after practice Saturday, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

What hasn't been the same is the regular season James is coming off of as he enters the playoffs having played in all 82 games for the first time in his career.

Mentally and physically, I'm where I should be right now. I've enjoyed every year competing for a championship.We're looking for another run this year. I'm not comparing it to previous years. I don't compare it to next year. I feel where I need to be and I'm healthy going into the postseason - as healthy as you can be going into the postseason. "So our guys have to understand that we're going to see the best (team) at their best".

The Indiana Pacers are set to face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. James credited this year's Pacers team for being "more well-balanced" with Victor Oladipo leading the charge, but he didn't let that praise turn into paranoia.

"I feel pretty comfortable in what I'm able to do", he said. "It's a good matchup and we look forward to the challenge".

The Cavaliers have multiple weapons at their disposal, though none are as potent as LeBron James, who's put up MVP-caliber numbers in his 15th season. "We're going to be a tough team to beat in four games and we have the best player in the world and a lot of guys that are hungry to go out and prove what they can do".

"It seems like the first time all year we're all healthy, coaches included", Love said.

In the meantime, Lue says Rodney Hood is "ready to go" following an Achilles injury while Kyle Korver recovers from a foot injury. "But with that it also creates some unfamiliarity on the floor, too".

Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley's philosophy in the playoffs was: "You rotate eight players". Cleveland has posted a 36-5 record in the East playoffs over the last three seasons.

"Who is the team to beat?" The team's best shot at success will ultimately be throwing as many bodies as possible at James and hoping it wears him down. Still, they fought the Golden State Warriors to the sixth game of the Finals. He's had no choice following a turbulent regular season in which he didn't always know who would be available until moments before tipoff. There's 16 teams, there's going to be some great series going on and everybody is trying to win.

January 12: Closing out a road trip and in the midst of a month-long funk, the Cavaliers dropped their third straight to the Pacers, who erased Cleveland's 22-point first half lead as the Wine & Gold failed to score a single point in the final four minutes of regulation and fell to 3-8 after a stretch of 18 wins in 19 outings. "We'll see what happens".

One of the most dominant postseason players in National Basketball Association history, James is undefeated in Game 1 of any opening series, a ideal 12-0 since making his playoff debut with the Cavaliers back in 2006.

Of course, winning the two playoff games in IN a year ago were agonizingly hard, with Game 3 requiring a comeback from a 26-point deficit and Game 4 going down to the final buzzer. Don't want to hear that loud noise in the sky.