LeBron James is on a quest to make his eighth-straight NBA Finals.
The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for fourth time this season. The under is 4-0 in the last four Cavs games played on three or more days of rest. Game 2 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday before the series heads to in for Games 3 and 4 on Friday, April 20 and Sunday, April 22. During one moment in particular, the Pacers guard crouched so laughingly low on defense - nearly mockingly - that James displayed a smirk in a clip that was made for the basketball Twittersphere. That allowed Cleveland to forge a 25-7 run to make it 70-63 with 1:06 left in the period and when the quarter ended, in had led by a 73-65 score.
Only two other Cleveland players managed to crack double digits in scoring, with J.R. Smith notching 15 and Larry Nance Jr. delivering 10 on the afternoon. "He's a very coachable kid", McMillan said. IN was on roll through April 1, but did lose three of its final five games heading into the postseason. Instead, taking them to cover that 6 ½ point spread is the safest and most profitable wager to make. IN won the opening game of the series 98-80 on Sunday afternoon.
In many ways, they live and die by the 3 now and it's worked well so far.
Well, it's easy to say they have LeBron James and that's their strength.
The Pacers will be faced with a monster of their own in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the defending Eastern Conference champion and National Basketball Association champion in 2016.
Suddenly, this series has a feel of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. I wouldn't be surprise if he puts up two or three triple-doubles this series and has a 40-point game or two. This time, though, Stephenson claims he has no plans to rankle King James.
"They came in and dictated the tempo, were more aggressive", James said.
IN hit 52.2 percent (12 of 23) while holding Cleveland to 25 percent (5 of 20) to take a 33-14 lead after the first quarter.
Cavs' head coach Tyronn Lue has helped navigate the team through a troubling and roller-coaster season, but now, he has a healthy roster ready for a playoff run. The problem with using any of the data from those four games is that they all occurred prior to the trade deadline.