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Pacers vs Cavaliers Game 7: LeBron Stares Down First-Round Elimination

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in NBA Basketball

Updated Apr 28, 2018 · 2:02 PM PDT

LeBron James
LeBron James and the Cavaliers are on the ropes, down 0-2 to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Final. Photo by Ian D'Andrea (Flickr) [CC License]
  • LeBron James faces first ever opening round elimination game
  • Victor Oladipo returns to his explosive self in Game 6
  • What other Cavalier can make an impact in Game 7?

In a decorated career that has seen him in virtually every single situation possible, LeBron James will step into a first-ever scenario Sunday: an elimination game in the first-round of the NBA playoffs.

James and the Cavaliers return home to host the upstart Indiana Pacers in Game 7, after Indiana put the boots to Cleveland in Game 6 and never let up.

In the middle of it all was Victor Oladipo, who returned to his all-star form after a stretch of ineffectiveness that spanned the three previous games.

YouTube video

James, averaging close to 43 minutes a game for the series, sat the entire fourth quarter, as the Pacers’ lead ballooned to 25 after three periods and stayed in the 30-point range the rest of the way.

He finished with 22 points, and was again the only Cavalier to top the 20-point mark. Only Rodney Hood and Jeff Green were able to top double digits.

Kevin Love has been as close to irrelevant as an all-star teammate can be. He’s averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds for the series, but shooting it at a paltry 32.4% from the field.

Cleveland [is] the lowest scoring team in the playoffs, putting up just over 93 points a game.

The lack of production across the roster has Cleveland as the lowest scoring team in the playoffs, putting up just over 93 points a game. They’ve topped 100 points in a game just once this series.

It also doesn’t help that the Pacers rolled in all the key performance stats in Game 6: they ran Cleveland off the floor in fast break points, 35-12. They were outrebounded 44-33, and the Pacers made hay in the paint, outscoring Cleveland 58-32.

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


Head-to-Head Results

Date Location Score Winner
April 27 – Playoff IND 121-87 IND
April 25 – Playoff CLE 98-95 CLE
April 22 – Playoff IND 104-100 CLE
April 20 – Playoff IND 92-90 IND
April 18 – Playoff CLE 100-97 CLE
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

Notable Injuries and Absences

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

 Straight Up Advice: Cavaliers (100-96)

The Pacers feature six players averaging double digit scoring, while the Cavaliers have just two.

In Game 6, Indiana’s front court went to work. The combination of Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis combined for 41 points and 15 rebounds.

Cleveland is going to need some combination of Love, Green and Larry Nance Jr. to contribute, or at least play them to a draw to have any chance.

James will deliver another monster performance on the big stage, and with just a little bit of help, that should be enough to carry the Cavaliers to victory.

Getting George Hill back from his back injury could help, and someone else on the perimeter needs to catch fire in this game to give the Cavs a chance. It will most likely fall into the hands of either JR Smith or Kyle Korver to emerge in the clutch. The Cavs have shot 35% from deep in their wins, and 28% in the losses.

But regardless of all the ways Cleveland should lose, this is a bet on James’ greatness overcoming a team that looks to clearly be a far superior team from top to bottom.

James will deliver another monster performance on the big stage, and with just a little bit of help, that should be enough to carry the Cavaliers to victory.

Team Trends

Pacers Cavaliers
Indiana is 22-22 SU on the road Cleveland is 31-13 SU at home
Indiana is 5-5 SU in its last ten games Cleveland is 5-5 SU in its last ten games
Indiana is 19-29 SU as an underdog Cleveland is 42-26 SU as a favorite
Indiana is 26-24-0 ATS after a win Cleveland is 11-22-1 ATS after a loss
Indiana is 52-36-0 ATS this season (59.1%) Cleveland is 32-55-1 ATS this season (36.8%)
Indiana is 26-18-0 ATS on the road Cleveland is 13-30-1 ATS at home 


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