Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers - 4/18/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Indiana Pacers bench comprised of the starters stand to watch the closing seconds of the game. Mandatory Credit Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports Indiana Pacers bench comprised of the starters stand to watch the closing seconds of the game. Mandatory Credit Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Sergio Cook | 17 April, 2018, 20:29

"Now it's the playoffs and now everyone's seeing it and t's kind of shocking to everybody, I guess you could say", Oladipo said in his post-game press conference. I just know those guys have been through everything with us the last four years and we won a championship, went to three Finals. Instead, Indiana ran away with the game right from the tip, snapping James' Round 1, Game 1 win streak at 21 and sending a message that this year is different - for both teams.

The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs.

James scored 24 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career triple-double. The Cleveland Cavaliers were, too, and reportedly had a deal involving Kevin Love on the table.

Lue said to Dave McMenamin of ESPN: "He has to be aggressive and set the tone early".

With Victor Oladipo leading the way, the Pacers outscored the Cavaliers 33-14 in the first quarter and they were never able to get closer than eight points for the remainder of the match. "They were more physical than us at the point of attack, and they were most precise with what they wanted to do and we couldn't score the ball".

The rest of Cleveland's starters managed only 25 points.

The Cavs' playoff theme is: "Whatever It Takes".

This is the first postseason experience as a unit for this Pacers team, but make no mistake, this is a veteran group.

Last April, Indiana was swept by Cleveland in the first round. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence.

Cleveland stormed back to begin the second half, outscoring the Pacers 27-18 in the third and cutting the lead to single digits before in would ultimately close the deal in the fourth.

"We were pressuring the ball", Lance Stephenson said. "They still don't believe".

I still think the Cavaliers will eventually win this series.

Oladipo is a superstar and now everybody can see why on this "magnified" stage.

Since the All-Star Break, Oladipo's numbers dropped significantly due to teams adjusting their gameplan defensively bring more double teams.

Didn't know that, did you? "When you don't, you saw what he's capable of".

"Letting our defense fuel our offense", Thaddeus Young said. "Can't control his opinion".

The game went to overtime following a wild finish in regulation that included back-to-back three-pointers in the closing seconds.

"That's just how the game was being played", James said, per McMenamin. Lue expects Hill to be good for Wednesday.

In giving an explanation, LeBron said he was just trying to read the game and keep his teammates involved. Myles Turner added 16 points while Bojan Bogdanovic chipped in with 15 points.

The second half started out with a 6-0 IN run extending their lead to a game-high 23 points. "It's not like (5-3) Muggsy Bogues is pressuring".

There's a chance that defense could rear its ugly head in Game 2, which underscores how important it is for James and Love to display aggressiveness on the offensive end. Assists-Indiana 19 (Collison 6), Cleveland 21 (James 12).

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