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

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

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers begin another Eastern Conference title defense against the Indiana Pacers Sunday in Game 1 on ABC TV. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo (32 points) or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence.

Oladipo received help from his supporting cast, as Myles Turner (12 points), Bojan Bogdonavic (10 points) and Lance Stephenson (nine points) helped the team to a 55-38 halftime lead. Antetokounmpo is the best player in the East not named LeBron James. Cleveland cut the lead to as little as seven points on three separate occasions in the second half, but in kept its distance and sealed the game with back-to-back buckets from Victor Oladipo, the second a 3-pointer for a 95-78 lead with 1:59 remaining. The Pacers ranked 17th in points per game this season.

Cleveland will host IN for Game 2 of their best-of-seven series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.

The Cavaliers never led, but battled hard in the second-half before coming up well short. He helped bring two championships to the franchise and promised the city of Cleveland he would do the same for them.

The start of the National Basketball Association postseason means two major things for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Indiana Pacers have split their last eight road games. James dropped to 48-8 in first-round games.

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.

LeBron James scored 24 points with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career post-season triple-double.

The Pacers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Cleveland. The 76ers have their own issues with Joel Embiid likely to miss the start of their first-round series with the Miami Heat.

It's the continuation of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff matchup between a pair of Central Division rivals.

The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for fourth time this season. No other starter broke the double figures mark in scoring though Kevin Love did grab 17 rebounds: J.R. Smith (15 points) and Larry Nance Jr. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue plans to use a 10-man rotation during Cleveland's opening-round playoff series against Indiana. If I had to pick something they've been great at, it'd probably be forcing turnovers, which they're third at, with Oladipo leading the league at 2.36 steals a game. The Indiana Pacers have a team full of roughriders and won't enter this series intimated one bit. 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.