Sunday's NBA roundup: Pacers get the jump on Cavaliers


The miserable loss made history for LeBron James as well, not all happy history either.

Better protect those chins, Pacers.

For many National Basketball Association fans, yesterday's blowout win for the Indiana Pacers over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the series was an introduction to the team. This is the least talented team LeBron has played on since the first time he was on the Cavs.

Facing him means an early exit.

The Cleveland Cavaliers need to be more aggressive on the offensive end of the floor against the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs.

The 14-time All Star, seeking his fourth championship title, had also never before lost Game 1 of a first-round series. They've been doing it all season. "We're just going to keep proving everyone wrong and play together". The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series 97-92 and won three of the four meetings this season: Cleveland took a 115-108 home win in the last matchup on January 26. It's when James shines most.

The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs.

Game 1, according to James, was a rude awakening for some of his teammates getting their first real taste of competing in the playoffs on a team with a target on its back as a title contender. "You could give it (the MVP award) to him every year, but it wouldn't be fair to everyone else".

If you've been following the NBA based on national broadcasts this year, you'd probably think the Cavs were clearly better than the Pacers.

Oladipo led the Pacers with 32 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Throughout the year, the Pacers have proven many doubters wrong.

"You can't simulate that, can't simulate that speed, can't simulate what's going on out there. We've got to be ready for anything they throw our way".

"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now", he said.

These Pacers are good.

During Game 1, IN deployed Myles Turner on Cleveland's power forward Jeff Green, while using Thaddeus Young to keep track of Kevin Love. He just said we've got to be more aggressive offensively, be more aggressive, and that's about it. "I feel like we're a really tough out. Just go out and play the game". The total will improve from Game 1 but it still falls a little short of the number as there's a big jump to be made here. Turner is now 5 of 26 overall, 0 for 9 on 3-pointers.

BOSTON - Al Horford had 24 points and 12 rebounds and Boston overcame Khris Middleton's long 3 that beat the fourth-quarter buzzer to top Milwaukee in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series. He's grateful for a fresh start.

"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason", James said post-game, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. Not scared of Kevin Love, who grabbed 17 rebounds but didn't score in double figures.

"Listen, it's fun", James said of Stephenson.