But while all those overbearing facts would seem to give Cleveland a huge advantage against IN in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference series that starts Sunday at Quicken Loans Arena, James isn't taking the Pacers lightly.
It was the 13th time Oladipo was scoring 30 or more points this season. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 2018 in New York City. Antetokounmpo is the best player in the East not named LeBron James.
The next game is Wednesday night in Cleveland.
When the final horn sounded, the Pacers didn't celebrate or run around the floor like they had accomplished anything special. Hopefully, we get Good Jeff Green. This year will look quite a bit different, however, as Cleveland no longer has three of their top five scorers (Irving, Deron Williams, and Channing Frye) from that series and IN no longer has their top two (Paul George and Jeff Teague).
Since February 20, there have been 30 lineups to play more than 10 minutes for the Cavaliers.
James hasn't lost a First Round contest since 2012 - a run of 21 straight victories, including last year's blanking of the Pacers - doubling-up in each win and posting historic numbers over the four-game sweep, averaging 32.8 points on 54 percent shooting to go with 9.8 boards, 9.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per.
Even in a losing effort, James was spectacular as always, recording a triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for fourth time this season. "I feel like I just have to go out there and play my game".
Making it out of the East, however, could prove to be more hard for James than it has been in each of the last seven seasons, all of which have ended with him competing in the NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers will use a 10-man rotation starting Monday for their first-round playoff series against the Pacers, coach Tyronn Lue said Friday.
IN continued their success against the Cavaliers as they beat them for the fourth time in five meetings this season, counting the regular season. Brad Stevens will throw all sorts of looks at the young guys and while the absence of Irving and Gordon Hayward will hang over the team, these Celtics won't start looking ahead to next year without a fight. Not always do they need to push, especially considering the athleticism of IN, but at times, it could reap benefits. The Odds Shark website reports that for the money line the Cavs are priced from -310 to -325 at various sportsbooks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a tumultuous season in terms of their roster, but it did not negate the awesomeness of LeBron James, who put up the best season of any 33-year-old in National Basketball Association history. The defense has been atrocious, and the chemistry doesn't seem to be there, a side effect of having nearly two full teams take the court in one season. "It's only one game, it's only Game 1".