Cleveland’s struggles have been on front street this season however they’ve still managed to prevail and hold down the fourth seed. Despite their defensive deficiencies, they’re still the favorite to win this series and the favorite to make it to the NBA Finals in some eyes. That’s not too crazy of a statement considering they have a guy named LeBron James.
However, the Indiana Pacers are a serious threat to upset the Cleveland Cavaliers so DJ Allen and Ryan Calpin point out what they would like to see in order for Indiana to come out on top.
Two things I would like to see from the Indiana Pacers are discipline and efficiency. When you go up against a scoring juggernaut like the Cavaliers, you have to make the most of your possessions. Taking care of the ball and getting good shots on every possession will put Indiana in the best position to win. Not to forget, Cleveland has the second worst defense in the league so Indiana should be able to get any shot they want. If the work and move the ball, it will ultimately lead to a highly efficient shot.
It’s also going to take a group effort from the Pacers overall. Offensively, they need contributions from everyone to take the offensive pressure off of Victor Oladipo. In their three regular season wins against the Cavaliers, Indiana had big games from guys like Thaddeus Young, B0jan Bogdanovic, and Domantas Sabonis. If these guys can apply offensive pressure on top of what they get from Oladipo and Myles Turner, the Pacers will be in good shape.
Defensively, the Indiana Pacers have to be sound. They can’t reach or game and put themselves out of position because that will ultimately lead to open threes. The one thing you don’t want to see from this Cleveland team is for their shooters to get hot. They have guys who can tear it up from behind the arc so letting those guys get confident is not in their best interest.
Another thing is they have to make the others beat them. You want to try to keep the ball out of James’s hands and make the role players make plays. Easier said than done but if Indiana is discipline and sound then they can keep the Cavaliers at bay.
At the end of the day, LeBron James is LeBron James, right? So for Indiana, as great as James is and obviously you have to pay him attention, I believe the best chance they have to win the series is to make sure the other guys don’t beat you.