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Five reasons why Cleveland Cavaliers will beat Indiana Pacers in NBA Playoffs
June 22 2017, 10:17 | Van Peters
Cavs superstar LeBron James, he of six straight trips to the NBA Finals and civic hero status, says not to worry.
After losing the first game of four against the Pacers this season, the Cavaliers won the final three matchups, including a 132-117 decision at IN followed up by back-to-back wins at Quicken Loans Arena. Playoff James needs to activate his swarming defense to contain Paul George.
"It's just getting back to being us", coach Ty Lue said.
Even if LeBron does make it to the first couple of weeks in June, the Warriors will likely be waiting for him again, waiting for him with Kevin Durant this time, waiting to get them back for last June and letting them back up once Draymond Green got himself good and suspended from Game 5 when the Warriors had the chance to close out the Cavs in Oakland, and make it two National Basketball Association titles in a row. "I'm looking forward to it".
"It's who I've wanted to match up against", he said.
The Cavs, who call their own the league's best playoff performer and premier star LeBron James, started each of their last two playoff runs on Sunday. "When you have Paul playing the way he's playing and the energy Lance is bringing off the bench, firing guys up with his play, his mouth, we've been a lot better". "It was hard to get a lot of camaraderie and cohesiveness on the floor of a steady diet of what we know we can be with all the injuries every time".
James has always respected George, and his appreciation for him only grew during his fight for redemption.
The Pacers' 2016-17 season was a mess before their final stretch into the playoffs. James leads in three major statistical categories: points (26.4), assists (8.7) and steals (1.2). It's great to see as a competitor and as a friend. Expect "Born Ready" to pump up Paul George all series long in an effort to keep the momentum going. "He nearly views me as an inspiration by coming back, really, and I've leaned on him to get back to this level". George's ascent to the top of the game was put on hold at 24 years old.
Like James, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue admires George's willpower and is thrilled he's back to being himself and in the playoffs. The Cavs' front office considers it one of Lue's greatest strengths as a coach. "I wish it wasn't against us".
In the Western Conference, No. 1 Golden State will open against No. 8 Portland, No. 2 San Antonio faces No. 7 Memphis, No. 3 Houston gets No. 6 Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers and Utah Jazz will meet in the last quarterfinal. If James can retain that level of play with a healthy roster while shoring up their defense in just a few weeks, then they have a very good shot at repeating as champions. It goes to show how well James played against IN that George's objectively strong performance pales IN comparison.
But Ben, they lost the top seed in the East to Boston, that's got to be a big deal, right? "We're hoping to create the same sort of feeling".
Just a little summary of the last matchup. I think their experience will help them though at least in this series before they bow out in the second round. The last 6 games, they look like a team capable of going toe to toe with anyone in the East. Add the numerous injuries that they have endured to the picture and it is easy to see why time to iron things out has been scarce.
Cavaliers: In his 14th season, James led the league in minutes, averaging 37.8 per game. Robinson has been out with a strained left calf since March 22.