Cavaliers' new lineup lacks aggression, execution in loss to Pacers


Cavaliers' new lineup lacks aggression, execution in loss to Pacers

Victor Oladipo scored 32 points and the Indiana Pacers stunned Cleveland in Game 1 of their series opener, beating LeBron James and the Cavaliers 98-80.

All that has made Oladipo a leading contender for National Basketball Association most improved player honors, and it served as a fitting prelude to Sunday's performance, when he hit 11 of 19 shots, added six rebounds, four assists and four steals and helped snap James's personal 21-game winning streak in the first round. Lance Stephenson had 12 points for Indiana.

LeBron James led the Cavs with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds but Cleveland struggled mightily to find any consistency.

Game 2 is on Wednesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena with tip-off scheduled for 12am BST.

Smith told First Take: "I don't blame him".

As a team, they shot just 8-of-33 (23.5 percent) from the 3-point line, and just 38.5 percent from the field. As it turns out, IN could hardly have done better, and it is the owner's heavily favored team that will have to give something much closer to its best to wrest the series back from a fired-up Oladipo and his teammates.

It's the first time in his career that he's gone down 0-1 following the opening game of the postseason. "I think the next game, we'll be more relaxed, and we'll come out, we'll play better".

After a tough season defensively, the Cavaliers found themselves down by as much as 23 points at one stage of their opening playoffs game. IN was edged 44-42 on the boards and clanked 10 of their 25 three point attempts in the contest. 1-10: LeBron James. The Cavs have also played better than the Pacers with their playoff rotations on the court.

In 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.

"I think we came out there, we punched them in the mouth that first game", Turner said.

The slights are nothing new to the Pacers, nor their star player, Victor Oladipo, who is still fueled by comments Cavs' owner, Dan Gilbert made several months ago. The Cavs just started off slow, which is why they lost the game. 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. For us, it's about going out and giving all we have playing the game the right way, playing the game together. James and Love combined for two points - they belonged to James, on two free throws with 1:52 left.

Antetokounmpo made one of two foul shots with 14.8 seconds left, but he fouled out of the game while going for the rebound on his miss. "They (the Pacers) going to push the ball at any and every opportunity they got and we have to be ready for that attack".

But you wouldn't have known it from the Pacers' demeanor as they fielded questions from the media on Monday.

"We had some good looks that we wanted and that just didn't fall". They have LeBron, after all, and they were on national television 39 times. Jeff Green, a solid part of the Cavaliers the final month of the season, was invisible.