But to first get there, they have to put up a dominant performance against the Pacers. Lue might choose to limit Korver's playing time in the series opener so he can play him more as the series progresses. The Pacers actually had the better point differential during the regular season and won the head-to-head series 3-1, although those four games were played before the trade deadline.
James netted 24 of Cavs' 80 points in his 44 minutes on court though it was the first time the National Basketball Association superstar has ever lost the opening match in the first round of the playoffs. IN has cashed in those turnovers too, ranking 5th in the league in fast-break points.
And yet if Playoff LeBron shows up like he can, none of that will matter. They had BR's 5th best ORtg but nobody would be surprised to see them drop 125 in any given game. 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. As for Boston, it seems to be screwed due to injuries despite having the two seed and its long odds to reach the NBA Finals indicate that. So expect a competitive series between the teams. It's 4-5 for a reason.
They were 10-1 in games decided by three points or less. If anyone thought his regular season was a mirage that would dissolve once the playoffs started, they're sorely mistaken.
The Celtics are still benefiting here from their strong start with Kyrie Irving in the lineup.
Bogdanovic finished with 17 points in the first game against Cleveland this season, but the Cavs bottled him up over the final three - holding him to 32 percent shooting and 29 percent from long-range. Cleveland is 0-4 in its last four games playing on three or more days of rest.
Still, let's not go overboard here. "They came in and they were aggressive in Game 1". Since then, those teams are 0-7 and none have forced a Game 7.
Doesn't quite sound like a winning formula for the playoffs. "LeBron being the best player in the world and being able to lead by example I think those two guys early on since they're starting a game they can really set the tone for our new guys that's coming in so that's what gives me the confidence going into the playoffs".
LeBron James contributed a triple-double for the Cavaliers with 24 points on 7-of-17 shooting, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Cleveland had won 14 straight first-round games, last losing on April 22, 2010, the last season of James' first stint with the Cavs. Remarkably, John Wall did not play in any of the four matchups. The overall metrics wouldn't suggest a Finals team, but LeBron is obviously capable of incredible, super-human things, and if Hood, Clarkson and Nance play to their potential, that's probably enough to make it out of the wide-open East.
Now we move into "so you're telling me there's a chance" territory.