Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers 4/15/18, Prediction & Odds

Carrie Guzman
April 16, 2018

What makes that feat even more remarkable is the fact he accomplished it in his 15th National Basketball Association season. During one moment in particular, the Pacers guard crouched so laughingly low on defense - nearly mockingly - that James displayed a smirk in a clip that was made for the basketball Twittersphere.

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.

Oladipo has become one of the NBA's rising stars, and after being a role player in Oklahoma City, he's Indiana's main attraction and looked like a seasoned star on the playoff stage.

And yet if Playoff LeBron shows up like he can, none of that will matter.

The Pacers jumped to a 25-8 lead, led 33-14 after a quarter and 55-38 at halftime.

Sabonis started three games against Cleveland this season and registered double-doubles in each of them. The only Portland win over New Orleans with Boogie came in the Blazers' home opener, when Anthony Davis played only five minutes before bumping knees with Maurice Harkless and leaving the game. So expect a competitive series between the teams.

A first-round exit for LeBron would ultimately be a major surprise, but this nonetheless stacks up as what should be a competitive series.

After the loss in Game 1, James and the Cavs will look to even the series during Game 2 on Wednesday.

The Celtics are still benefiting here from their strong start with Kyrie Irving in the lineup. This will be Cleveland's best gameplan, as they can play to their strength while also exposing Indiana's weakness.

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Still, let's not go overboard here.

The Cavaliers are healthier than they've been all season. Since then, those teams are 0-7 and none have forced a Game 7.

Philadelphia enters the playoffs on a 16-game winning streak, but be wary of reading too much into recent performance. He put Oladipo back in the game and the Pacers' All-Star guard knocked down a 3-pointer and a 20-foot jumper during a 12-2 Pacers run.

It's been a long time since LeBron James lost a first round game.

James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but the Cavaliers as a whole struggled with their shooting touch throughout the game, especially when it came to 3-pointers.

James' teams have won 21 straight games in the opening round (including a 4-0 sweep of the Pacers last April). "He's the best player in the world". Remarkably, John Wall did not play in any of the four matchups.

However, if there is anything we have learned about this year's Pacers team, it's that they are nothing like the previous Pacers teams. And you know I don't mean only the players, but the coaching staff and everybody.

But the Rockets swept the season series by almost 16 points per game.

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