"At the end of the day, every good team it comes down to, especially in the playoffs, execution, defense, the details". That's what should bother the Cavs the most.
IN jumped out to a 30-10 lead in the first quarter and survived a brief Cavs run late in the third quarter en route to a surprisingly easy 98-80 win. The Cavs came out and played like it was the last game of a long road trip in mid-January vs. the Phoenix Suns.
Antetokounmpo got free for a dunk, But Horford was steady again after being fouled, connecting on two more from the line with 15.2 seconds left. They should have been called for delay of energy.
The Good: They say a series doesn't start until the home team loses. Oladipo's playoff debut with the Pacers served as a mere continuation of the first All-Star campaign of his career, which has seen him average 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. "It's just a matter of us going out there and punching back". In fairness, many at the time would have agreed with the owner that the Pacers didn't get an impressive haul for George, particularly given that Oladipo, widely thought to be a solid but unspectacular combo guard, was in the first year of a four-year, $84 million contract extension.
Lance Stephenson, a longtime playoff nemesis for James, helped set the tone in the first quarter with a dunk he punctuated by throwing several punches into the padded basket stanchion. However, each surge by the Cavs was countered by the Pacers, who ended up taking a 55-38 lead into halftime.
The Cavaliers dug themselves a huge hole right off the bat and trailed by as many as 21 in that opening period before finding themselves down 33-14 after the first 12 minutes.
"They took advantage of everything what we wanted to do", James said."They were more physical at the point of attack and were more precise with what they wanted to do".
But there were red flags flapping everywhere in this Cavs loss. "They played inspired basketball".
"We had some guys out there for the first time in a playoff game". This is the team's first playoff win since 2016.
Nothing has been typical about this season for the Cavs. They shot 23.5% from three and only had one starter in double figures. That wasn't entirely surprising, given that only three of James's teammates-Kevin Love, J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson-have been in Cleveland since 2015. I don't care what problems he is dealing with outside the court, you need to play him more in this series. Offensively, we didn't make shots. "We'll make some adjustments and be a lot better". Hill finished with seven points on 3-of-7 shooting and two turnovers. We couldn't score the ball. Nearly every Cavs shot was contested by one or more Pacers. The Pacers are still going to be the faster team, and that's a huge problem for the Cavs. It is awesome to me that Tristan Thompson only played two minutes this game. We've been playing our butts off on both ends of the floor all year. The Raptors own the best record in the conference but they're haunted by years of playoff failures.
But Sunday was far from pretty.