NBA Playoffs: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers Preview And Prediction

Clay Curtis
April 15, 2018

The first is mostly ceremonial: LeBron James will begin his now-annual social media blackout for the remainder of the playoffs.

Lue and his staff have been juggling lineups and using different combinations on the floor for months, forced to adjust and re-adjust, first because of injuries and then by a slew of trades that transformed the team. They were minus 182 to start the season, meaning a person would have to wager $182 to win $100. "I think we've been nine in the past, but I think it's going to be important to go 10 for us because I like Clarkson being on the floor with a point guard, so that makes us play 10". He's a dominant player. SportsLine will have game-by-game gambling advice for every playoff series here. That's the longest active streak under the current format, dating back to 1984.

The 33-year-old is aiming to make his eighth straight Finals, a feat only accomplished by a handful of Boston Celtics in the 1960s. Cleveland is the thrice defending Conference champion. His run with the Cavaliers, however, could end after this postseason. "And that's why they won", Lance Stephenson said afterwards. "I'm not comparing it to past year". Even Game 1 in Cleveland saw another nail-biting finish.

James is fully aware of the threat they possess and was asked about the matchup after Wednesday's season finale.

The Cavaliers will face the fifth seed Indiana Pacers with home-court advantage in the first round. And although the Pacers were swept, each game was a high-level game. The Cleveland Cavaliers are averaging 110.9 points on 47.6 percent shooting and allowing 109.9 points on 47.4 percent shooting.

But ... This is a different Cavaliers (50-32) team, and a better-than-expected Pacers group that won six more games than past year to finish 48-34.

"They got an All-Star in [Victor] Oladipo and all those other guys off 'em", he said.

This season, the Pacers managed to win three of the four matchups, including their own 22-point comeback in a 97-95 victory on January 12.

"It's the most special time for an National Basketball Association player", said Pacers point guard Darren Collison, who led the National Basketball Association in three-point percentage (46.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (4.3). [Bojan] Bogdanovic had some really good games in the season, he's a wildcard. "You play seven. You use six and you trust five". The Lakers had only missed the playoffs five previous times in their first 65 years of existence before they doubled that number during this dismal half-decade.

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The Pacers appeared on national television just once this season: December 13th.

In last year's series, the Cavaliers had to deal with Paul George.

"Nobody knows who were are", Collison continued.

One of the holdovers from Cleveland's past three Finals teams, Thompson played extended minutes in the second half of Wednesday's loss to NY while Nance rested, a sign that Lue might be leaning toward him playing more. "It'll be nice for the whole world to see how we play and how we get down".

It's hard to imagine it being that easy this year as the Pacers are a more well-balanced squad.

"Myles Turner coming back, he's been playing some good ball of late".

Looking at the Cavaliers after the trade deadline [VIDEO] is key also. The Colts had Tom Brady's New England Patriots. The Pacers will get the first opportunity to dethrone the king. I know I need to step up, but that's no different than years past.

James assumed a massive workload during the regular season, but extra miles didn't slow him.

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