LeBron James Just Lost his 1st Playoff Opener

If you've been following the NBA based on national broadcasts this year, you'd probably think the Cavs were clearly better than the Pacers. It was one game that started very poorly and the Cavs couldn't dig themselves out from a 19-point first-quarter deficit. They did not panic when LeBron James and his crew revved up in each of the final three quarters. Collectively, Cleveland shot just 8-34 (24%) from deep and managed only 10 fast-break points.

Oladipo said after Game 1 that he used these words as motivation for his huge year. We've been playing our butts off on both ends of the floor all year. It just hasn't been magnified. It's the playoffs now.so everybody sees it. It's kind of shocking to everybody.

MVP: Oladipo's 32 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and block are good enough to earn him the honor on stats alone.

Oladipo said Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert provided him with extra motivation, citing his offseason remark that IN should have received better talent from Oklahoma City IN return for Paul George.

It's the continuation of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff matchup between a pair of Central Division rivals.

James had won 21 first-round playoff games in a row until the rout, having never before lost the opener in a first-round National Basketball Association post-season series. "I mean, I'm down 0-1 in the first round". They took advantage of everything we wanted to do. "We're just going to keep proving everyone wrong and play together". "We're planning on winning". "Not just come in here and be OK".

The Pacers, led by Oladipo, of course, were better. And most of what they did worked. At the end of the day, the Cavs have LeBron and he will make sure that the team makes the needed adjustments in order to win the series. He returned in the fourth quarter but was noticeably hobbling. James was 0-for-4 from long range. "I thought (Indiana) came in and they attacked us". He played 26 minutes without scoring a point. "I was down 3-1 in the Finals". While James had a triple double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), Victor Oladipo diced Cleveland's defense for a game-high 32 points, making Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert pay for saying last summer that IN "could have done better" IN the Paul George trade. At the top of the list: the Cavs' have multiple players without any prior playoff experience, and majority looked either scared or hurt.

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And again, by taking Game 1 away from Cleveland on the road, they made winning the series more hard for the Cavaliers. We couldn't score the ball, and obviously in this league, you gotta score the ball.

"We did, as far as in the pick-and-roll game", Lue said.

Yet the Pacers' roster is full of younger, inexperienced players too.

With Victor Oladipo leading the way, the Pacers outscored the Cavaliers 33-14 in the first quarter and they were never able to get closer than eight points for the remainder of the match.

"We've got 10 new players", coach Nate McMillan said. Usually in playoffs, those teams win", coach Tyronn Lue said."They were more aggressive". "We talked about some of the things that Cleveland would do". You can't simulate what's going on out there. "You're going to have to be clear about what you need to do, and connected out there". "I'm not anxious what we showed (people)". That's what the media and those guys say. We're fully aware of LeBron and his team, and we know it's not going to be easy. His physical play steadied a rough overall bench performance.

What it looked like was the better team won.

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