Game 1 did not go as expected. I don’t think anyone believed the Pacers would blow out the Cavaliers except, maybe, the Pacers. In a game where the Cavaliers never led, Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers clobbered LeBron James’ team in Cleveland.
From the very beginning of the game, there were major concerns for the Cavs. LeBron was held scoreless in the first quarter and Lance Stephenson (yes, I said it..LANCE STEPHENSON) appeared to be outplaying LeBron. Luckily, that didn’t last past the first quarter or else we would have to put GOAT debates to rest.
LeBron was able to bounce back and put up a triple double for the game. Unfortunately, he was the only Cavs player to bounce back. He literally had no help as his teammates missed shot after shot. That’s the problem with LeBron. His success, in terms of winning games, solely relies on whether or not his teammates can hit the open looks he provides for them. This was the game he needed to drop 50 for them to win. He has the talent to do so, but he refuses to put huge scoring numbers when he absolutely needs to. Jordan would have done it. Kobe would have done it. Even Allen Iverson would have done it. But enough about LeBron, let’s give credit to the team that deserves it.
The Indiana Pacers looks as if there were a top seed in the East in this game. Victor Oladipo was absolutely unstoppable. I still find it unreal that he kept doing the same play over and over, and the Cavs had no game plan to stop it. Let me paint you a picture. Oladipo would go iso on his defender. He would pull the ball back almost to the half court line, then charge towards the defender. Most times the defender would retreat towards the paint, leaving Oladipo with an open jump shot – several times a three pointer. Other times the defender would stand his ground, but then Oladipo would just blow by him. The Pacers are not an elite team. An option could have been to trapped Oladipo so he would have to pass the ball. If you’re the Cavs, you want anyone else on the Pacers to beat you. If you take their only all-star out of the game you have a very good chance to win.
I’m pretty confident the Cavs will still win this series, and it will not go more than six games. Kevin Love will score more than nine points moving forward and Jeff Green will not be held scoreless again. Also, what’s up with Tristan Thompson only playing two minutes? Hopefully he is not getting punished for his off court transgressions. The biggest concern should be with the coaching, but I’ll save my thoughts on this topic for a separate blog post…
Do you think the Cavs will end up winning this series against the Pacers? Or will Indiana pull off the upset? Let me know your thoughts.
Till next time.