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Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers: Game 2 Preview and Prediction

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Apr 17, 2018 · 10:10 AM PDT

Victor Oladipo
Pacers all-star guard Victor Oladipo have been solid to start the NBA season. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Did the Cavaliers get the wake-up call they needed after Game 1?
  • Victor Oladipo is the superstar Orlando and Oklahoma City never had
  • LeBron James will show up to play – how many of his teammates will join?

After getting blasted in Game 1, the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in unfamiliar territory – trailing a first round series. They try to right that ship Wednesday in Game 2 against the Indiana Pacers.

LeBron and his teams are synonymous with First Round domination – he’d won 21 straight in the opening round – so imagine the surprise in Cleveland when the Pacers hit them with the kitchen sink in the first quarter. Long time LeBron nemesis Lance Stephenson let everyone know they weren’t playing.

But that spike was just the appetizer to Victor Oladipo’s main course. The Pacers All-Star was easily the best player on the court in Game 1. It’s safe to say he was underwhelming in Orlando and looked lost in OKC, but he’s arrived in Indiana. His six three-pointers in Game 1 matched his entire output of threes in five games against the Rockets last year. He ran this town Sunday night.

LeBron was his usual brilliant self, recording a triple-double, but Jeff Green – named to the starting lineup prior to the playoffs – was the most horrendous out of a litany of horrendous Cavs performers. He finished with 0 points, on 0-for-7 from the field, and a tidy 0-for-3 from the free throw line.

Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers Team Stats


107.6 Offensive Rating 110.6
105.6 Points 110.9
22.2 Assists 23.4
47.2 Field-Goal Percentage 47.6
36.9 Three-Point Percentage 37.2
+1.4 Plus/Minus +0.9

*Stats do not include the playoffs


105.5 Defensive Rating 109.5
104.1 Points 109.9
-0.7 Rebounding Differential -1.5
-2.0 Turnover Differential +0.4
46.5 Field-Goal Percentage 47.4
34.8 Three-Point Percentage 36.8
44.6 Points In The Paint 44.1

*Stats do not include the playoffs

LeBron James looking up at the scoreboard
LeBron James’ Game 1 triple double was not enough to top the Pacers. They’ll try to even the series Wednesday. Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License]

Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
April 15 – Playoff CLE 98-80 IND
Jan. 26 – Regular Season CLE 115-108 CLE
Jan. 12 – Regular Season IND 97-95 IND
Dec. 8 – Regular Season IND 96-89 IND
Nov. 1 – Regular Season CLE 108-100 IND

This is the fourth win in five games for the Pacers over the Cavs this season, but the first since Cleveland’s trade deadline makeover. Doesn’t seem to matter who’s in there. Cleveland’s porous defense is usually the issue, but they held Indiana to under 100 points. It’s too bad that their high octane offense hit the skids in this one.

When they won in the regular season, it’s because the Cavaliers scorched from three-point range. In their 50 wins, they shot 41-percent from beyond the arc, just 31-percent in losses. In Game 1, they were just 8-for-34, good for just 23.5-percent.

Notable Injuries and Absences

Pacers Cavaliers
No injuries George Hill (back): DAY-TO-DAY
Kyle Korver (foot): DAY-TO-DAY

 Straight Up Advice: Cavaliers (116-106)

There were a couple of players that didn’t look ready for primetime in this one, including Jordan Clarkson and Rodney Hood, so expect vets like JR Smith to see more playing time, and Tyronn Lue would be smart to dust off Tristan Thompson and get him some reps.

It’s hard to expect a better defensive effort for the Cavaliers – this is a team that surrendered 109 points a game this year – but you should expect a greater offensive output. This is only the second time this year they’ve been held to 80 or less points in a game.

Expect LeBron James to establish his will on the game earlier, and the Cavaliers take care of business before heading to Indy.

Team Trends

Pacers Cavaliers
Indiana is 22-20 SU on the road Cleveland is 29-13 SU at home
Indiana is 7-3 SU in its last ten games Cleveland is 6-4 SU in its last ten games
Indiana is 19-26 SU as an underdog Cleveland is 39-26 SU as a favorite
Indiana is 25-23-0 ATS after a win Cleveland is 10-21-1 ATS after a loss
Indiana is 48-35-0 ATS this season (57.8%) Cleveland is 31-51-1 ATS this season (37.8%)
Indiana is 24-18-0 ATS on the road Cleveland is 13-28-1 ATS at home 

Additional SU Picks (April 18th)

Also on the Wednesday docket, Utah and Minnesota try to claw back into their opening round series’ out West.

 Match-Up SU Pick
Jazz vs Thunder – Game 2 Jazz
Timberwolves vs Rockets – Game 2 Rockets


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