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NBA Playoffs Game 1 on ABC

16 April 2018

Trailing 69-50 in the third quarter, Cleveland used a 13-1 run, capped by Love's deep 3-pointer, to trim the lead to 70-63. This is a major step up after the team was projected to not even make the playoffs at the start of the year.

After trading Paul George over the offseason, some pundits had the Pacers headed for the Lottery. We'll look at IN going up against Cleveland IN this piece IN a matchup which ended 3-1 IN favor of the Pacers IN the regular season. In four seasons with the Miami Heat and the last three years with Cleveland, the league's top star always managed to win the East on a team that was the conference's No.1 or No.2 seed. Most notably, James had 18 triple-doubles this year, the most of his career.

Led by Victor Oladipo, the Pacers dominated the game from the opening quarter where they jumped to a 33-14 lead after the opening 12 minutes.

Sunday's showdown will be the LeBron's 24th career postseason meeting against IN, bringing a 16-7 mark into Game 1.

It's a rematch of last year's playoff but hopefully not the same result as the Cavaliers swept the Pacers in four games. While things are certainly different this time around, the Cavaliers are without superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, and IN is without a star of their own IN small forward Paul George.

After beating Virginia on their way to winning the ACC championship, the only way the Wolfpack could make the tournament as they lost 10 games during a disappointing regular season, they had to face Virginia in the NCAA Regional final. In his 15th season he did something he had never done before, play in all 82 games. IN quickly went on a 12-2 run to restore a 17 point lead and that was that. The 10-man rotation means Clarkson, Calderon, and Green will all get minutes and it seems as though Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson will be left out.

The Pacers took the fight to the Cavs, and Indiana's players are battling critics who say they can't compete with Cleveland.

After missing 20 games in February and March with a broken left hand, Kevin Love returned to the lineup without missing a beat - doubling up in his first game back and finishing the regular season with a game-high 28-point effort against the Knicks in NY. The chief culprits in watching that deficit grow were the Cavaliers' miserable shooting during the quarter, connecting on just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from the field, while also committing six turnovers.

The start of the National Basketball Association postseason means two major things for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Love and Rodney Hood narrowly missed that threshold with nine points apiece, with Love collecting a game-high 17 rebounds.

I expect to see the Cavaliers push the pace of the game every chance they get. The Cavs still feature the best player on the floor in the series, but they don't feature the same type of team that the Pacers do. 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. Take the points and the Pacers in this one as it's a tighter contest. But with lineups changing on an nearly game-by-game basis over the final weeks of the season, it's been a moving target. The total will improve from Game 1 but it still falls a little short of the number as there's a big jump to be made here.

NBA Playoffs Game 1 on ABC