Cavs vs. Pacers: First Round Primer

Hugh Fox
April 15, 2018

Last year, the Wine & Gold went through the Pacers in four games - taking a pair of thrillers at The Q to start the series before returning to in for one of the greatest postseason comebacks in league history - erasing a 25-point lead at halftime to take the 119-114 win in Game 3.

"I think having LeBron James, that's one factor and Kevin Love, I think those two guys", Lue said.

However James was not the only one to enter the record books. He's had no choice following a turbulent regular season in which he didn't always know who would be available until moments before tipoff. James became the first player in National Basketball Association history to average at least 32 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and two blocks in a playoff series. In season 15, James not only played all 82 games, but he continues to do so at levels very few of his peers, past or present, could even fathom.

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LeBron James' uncertain future with the Cleveland Cavaliers could play a role in the team's playoff run this season, according to teammate Kevin Love. The 15-year veteran appeared in all 82 games for the first time in his career and averaged a career-high 9.1 assists per game.

Before the game, Lue said he tried to talk James out of playing, but he gave in and allowed the four-time MVP to extend his record of scoring in double digits to 873 consecutive games before taking him out. He has been playing since he was 18 and has been dominant to this day. These numbers speak for themselves, but so does LeBron and his ability to be his team's most valuable asset. The Pacers are the lucky team to take on LeBron James first, but is his team as risky as they've been recently? Victor Oladipo is averaging 23.1 points and 4.3 assists while Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 14.3 points and 3.4 rebounds. Obviously their season, from the outside looking in was more productive than ours because of what they went through in the offseason. If you saw those three dudes at the Y, you'd grab two buddies and feel good about your chances of beating them. And I say that with tremendous respect to lots of other people.

Yet no single player suffers more from a series loss despite doing so much than LeBron. There isn't a whole lot left for The King to prove this year.

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So for the fourth time in recent memory the Pacers will be faced with the task of facing a LeBron-led team. He leads the league in points scored. The Knicks have reportedly joined the sweepstakes as well with a banner near the main entrance of the Madison Square Garden daring LeBron to prove he is "King of NY".

The Wine & Gold's reward is a First Round date with the only Eastern Conference team that holds a winning mark against them this season - the Indiana Pacers.

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