If you've ever paid attention to Bill Simmons various gambling do's and don't's, you know that rule No. 1 is to always be tired of the "Nobody believes in us" team. "You can't ease into the playoffs".
Sunday marked just the second nationally televised game for the Pacers all season, with the other coming when George made his return to IN with the Thunder.
"You can't ease into the game".
The Pacers took the fight to the Cavs, and Indiana's players are battling critics who say they can't compete with Cleveland.
"We got out hard defensively, showing LeBron some bodies", Oladipo said.
This one was only briefly close. We know what LeBron is capable of doing. Fans might be, but he isn't.
Hill went 3-for-7 for seven points in just 19 minutes - Lue said he suffered a back injury but expected the point guard to be ready for Game 2 - and Hood went 4-for-8, including 1-for-4 from behind the arc, and 0-for-2 on free throws for nine points in almost 21 minutes.
"I was down 3-1 in the Finals. I'm the last guy to ask how you're going to feel the next couple days". In fairness, many at the time would have agreed with the owner that the Pacers didn't get an impressive haul for George, particularly given that Oladipo, widely thought to be a solid but unspectacular combo guard, was in the first year of a four-year, $84 million contract extension. Lance Stephenson had 12 points for Indiana. It awakened the dozing crowd.
Antetokounmpo got free for a dunk, But Horford was steady again after being fouled, connecting on two more from the line with 15.2 seconds left.
There were many culprits.
JR Smith (15 points) and Larry Nance (10 points and five rebounds) provided their best arguments for replacing Rodney Hood (nine points) and Jeff Green (zero points) in the starting lineup. He was 0-for-7 shooting and grabbled only four rebounds while playing 26:31. On top of that, Hill has a back injury.
"They were more aggressive", James said.
The most important factor for McMillan, though, was the "confidence" with which Oladipo played. The Cavs just started off slow, which is why they lost the game. Jordan Clarkson, in his first playoff game, contributed six points on 2-of-6 shooting. Jose Calderon, 0-of-3."We just can't shoot as tight", said Hood, who was 4-of-8. James was 0-for-4 from long range. Stephenson then used his right hand to stuff in the slam, giving the Pacers a 20-point lead.
The Cavs are good enough to overcome a 0-1 deficit to the Indiana Pacers. 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.
Cleveland was fortunate to even have a chance to try and make a run to get the game to single digits in the fourth quarter. The Cavs did not lead for one second the entire game and the last time IN did not lead was with 8:36 remaining IN the first quarter. We gave up 98 points, but 80 is not gonna cut it. "We're just going to keep proving everyone wrong and play together". "We had some guys in their first time out there playing in this setting". "He's a tough player and you've got to play your best when you play against him".
"I think everybody is going to be a lot calmer and a lot more precise in what we want to do. We'll make some adjustments and be a lot better". He also turned the ball over five times and had just four assists.
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