Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Kevin Love Feels LeBron James' Looming Free Agency Could Impact Playoff Run

Kevin Love Feels LeBron James' Looming Free Agency Could Impact Playoff Run

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.

Victor Oladipo was a huge thorn in the Cavs' side, scoring 32 points.

Myles Turner had 16 points and eight rebounds, Bojan Bogdanovic ended with 15 points, six rebounds and three steals and Lance Stephenson scored 12 points off the bench for IN, which shot nearly 46-percent IN the win.

Pacers will snap LeBron James's streak of 21 straight first-round playoff wins. They were 21-20 on the road this season after winning only 13 road games last season.

The Cavs lost the opening playoff game 98-80 in Cleveland though they can still progress in the best of seven series.

They next come up against the Pacers, again in Cleveland, on Wednesday night.

It feels like the Cleveland Cavaliers have been stuck in the same news cycle for years now. The Pacers shot 47.6 percent from the field and made half of their 14 first-half threes.

There's no question that James is playing with his worst supporting cast since he completed his first stint with Cleveland. That proved to be the Cavs' last chance as the Pacers put together a 12-2 run in just a three-minute span to boost the lead back up to 17 at 88-71.

Cool, calm weather expected for first half of week — FIRST ALERT FORECAST
Afternoon temperatures will be in the mid-50s with winds gusting to 20 miles per hour for a much cooler than normal mid-April day. The clouds and showers are projected to stay in place for Sunday , with an afternoon high of just 44 degrees.

Even in a losing effort, James was spectacular as always, recording a triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Case in point: past year the Cavs swept the Pacers right out of the postseason. While the defense has been a major question mark all year, the team has been excellent offensively since acquiring Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson, ranking second in the NBA-and first among all playoff teams-with 112.9 points per 100 possessions.

With the Cavs sitting 3rd in the conference for much of the season, it didn't look as if this matchup was likely.

Since that major roster shakeup, the Cavs are 19-10 with the East's fourth-best net rating (4.0), trailing the 76ers (11.1), Raptors (7.5) and Heat (4.3). I've enjoyed every year competing for a championship.We're looking for another run this year.

As for Cleveland's reserves, Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith and Jose Calderon are in the rotational mix, with forwards Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. being used depending on whom in has on the floor. The problem with using any of the data from those four games is that they all occurred prior to the trade deadline.

When 4 and 5 seeds meet there should be a competitive series as a result. If I had to pick something they've been great at, it'd probably be forcing turnovers, which they're third at, with Oladipo leading the league at 2.36 steals a game.

Lue refused to name his full starting lineup for Sunday's Game 1.

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