Pacers get ready for Cavs' counterpunch heading into Game 2
19 April, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Christina Harvey
OK, so that didn't go the way it was supposed to.
Victor Oladipo scored 32 points and IN outplayed Cleveland from the start while pulling off a stunning 98-80 victory Sunday IN the series opener, handing James and the Cavaliers' their first loss IN the opening round IN eight years. James will have to attack the basket from the opening tip, and if the drive and kick is there, he will take it when the opportunity arises.
IN took control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and pushing it to 23 in the third.
Coach Tyronn Lue has been tight-lipped about any possible lineup changes, but the squad has had a fluid rotation all season long - and for the first time, everyone is healthy and ready to go. The Pacers should be confident, they have won four of the five games between the teams this season, and also now rolled past this new-look Cavaliers team that had a trade deadline makeover.
The main issues the Cavaliers will have to fix in Game 2 is transition defense, limiting Victor Oladipo, shooting the ball better, and playing with the effort they need to for the whole 48 minutes.
Sunday was one of the few times this season the Cavaliers did not lose due to their defense.
IN ranks 13th in points in the paint per game (44.6) while Cleveland ranks 20th in points allowed in the paint per game (46.9).
JR Smith came off the bench and found his rhythm in the third quarter, netting nine of his 15 points in the period, going 3-for-4 from three-point range.
"We've got to be better", Darren Collison said. However, James was the only starter to break double digit figures on the night. James finished with a triple-double of 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but he wasn't close to his best, leaving Ty Lue to state that he needs his star to be more aggressive from the jump. "They just played inspired basketball and they just took advantage of everything we wanted to try and do". Victor Oladipo shot an astounding 6-9 from three and had 32 points for the game.
Love has rebounded well against the Pacers all season long - doubling-up in three of the meetings. Dating to the regular season, IN has won four out of five against the Cavs.
The Pacers have the frontline versatility to flummox Love and that was the case on Sunday.
In games where they allow below 100 points, IN is 27-4 and Cleveland is 16-4.
One thing the Cavaliers don't want to see is an animated Lance Stephenson. Cleveland isn't going to be as bad on offense again, but Game 1 proved this series will be no cakewalk.
The Pacers finished second in the league in steals this season and that continued to hold true in Game 1 with 12 team steals. Oladipo opened the playoffs with 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting in 37 minutes while adding six rebounds, four assists and four rebounds.
Kyle Korver was scoreless in three shot attempts, all in the first half.
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