The Celtics featured five players with at least 19 points in their 113-107 overtime game-one win over the Bucks. Al Horford led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds. James' first official shot came with 1:24 left in the opening period - an errant 3. "We had some guys in their first time out there playing in this setting". "I thought he hurt us catch-and-shoot, off the ball, relaxing, not being aware".
That talking point is right in line with the message Pacers head coach Nate McMillan has been preaching to his team since training camp. "He's a very coachable kid", McMillan said.
But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday night's Game 2 will be on the struggles of Cleveland's playoff newcomers, James isn't anxious.
"They were more aggressive", James said.
For Pacers center Myles Turner, better defensive communication is key. Cleveland was down 19 after the opening quarter and despite their best efforts, couldn't throw a serious scare into IN the rest of the way. Will the Cavaliers have an answer for Oladipo and the Pacers?
The Pacers shot over 45 percent from the field, hit eleven 3-pointers and forced 16 turnovers.
Still, it's hard to find any major faults in the Blue & Gold's defensive effort in Game 1, particularly to start the game. That's why we came to play this game is to win, not just to come here and just be OK.
"If we bring that this whole series, we'll be excellent".
Lakers fans should be following the Cavaliers closely in the playoffs. He was shut out on 0-of-6 shooting.
In the final quarter, the Pacers sucked the life out of an already lifeless Cavs team, outscoring Cleveland, 25-15, to edge the series lead at 1-0. "They just played inspired basketball and they just took advantage of everything we wanted to try and do. We'll see what they're going to do".
"They were more physical. And they're going to hit the open man". The first one's a feel-out game. "He's been a guy who has created a lot of things for us on both ends of the floor".
Still, LeBron James isn't anxious.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook led the Thunder to a 116-108 game-one win over the Jazz. But they're not shying away from the challenge. "But a team like this can respond and they're going to respond".
"So we take it as everybody has to dig deep and not lose two of them on our home floor". The Pacers guard also continued his back-and-forth antics with James.
An early exit from the playoffs bodes well for the Lakers' pitch to James.
"The game itself, playing the game the right way, is what we use as motivation", McMillan said. "This is a different season, a good opportunity for him to show where he's at again.".
"I've always said that experience is the best teacher", James said. "Don't back down from nobody". Still, an engaged Stephenson is good for the Pacers. Kevin Love collected 17 rebounds but contributed only nine points.
"The energy last night was fantastic", Stephenson said.
"Jeff Green, it might have been the worst performance of his career and he's been in the league a while".
Stephenson was his typical amusing self after the dunk.