Saying that the Cavaliers “swept” the Pacers sounds like it was an easy round for the Cavs, but it wasn’t as easy as the series might indicate. Let me pull up some interesting stats for you: The Cavs only outscored the Pacers by 16 points in those four games combined. Not only that, but the Cavs have become the first team in over 20 years to sweep a team in a playoffs series while allowing at least 100 points in every game to their opponent.
Although the defensive performance from the Cavs was disappointing, LeBron James was masterful, leading the Cavs offensively, averaging 32.8 points shooting 54.3% from the field, 9.8 rebounds, and 9.0 assists through four games.
After all, James is the reason for the Cavs coming out on top in each of the four games.
After watching a very tough series for the Cavs, and seeing that they had difficulty winning each of the four games, you all might say that this will impact their road to the Finals, but truthfully, it won’t. The Cavs are just too talented to be beaten by any team in the Eastern Conference. It’s that simple. To add onto that, even though the Cavs had a very tough series, they sill swept, so they get more time to rest, work on their game, and fix any problems that they have on the court. Moreover, I personally believe that the Pacers are one of the best teams in the East with a stacked starting lineup, and clearly, their seeding doesn’t match their talent, so I kind of expected a tough series for the Cavs.
Here are the highlights of each game of this series, including my analysis:
The Pacers really scared the Cavs in game 1. The Cavs were controlling the game throughout, but the Pacers made a strong comeback. The Pacers were trailing by one point in the final possession, and C.J. Miles missed a good look at a 14 foot jumper, which was the right decision to take the shot, regardless of what Paul George says. C.J. Miles is one of the best shooters in the league, and whenever a good shooter, regardless of who it is, has a good look like that, he takes the shot.
Even though the Cavs won by only one point, they still got the W. That’s all that matters in the playoffs. Wins.
The Cavs knew that they needed to improve on the defensive end in this one, and they did through three quarters, but fell apart in the fourth. The Cavs were up 18 points in the fourth, and allowed the Pacers to cut it to four in the final minute of the game, but there was just not enough time for the Pacers to jump ahead, as the Cavs closed them out on the free throw line. Kyrie Irving brought it all on the court, leading the team with 37 points.
If I have to describe this game in one word, I would describe it as LEBRON. The Pacers were up 26 early in the second half, but that didn’t stop LeBron James from doing LeBron things. James single handedly took away the game from the Pacers. Furthermore, Irving and Love sat out the entire fourth quarter. LeBron totaled 41 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists. Cavaliers set an NBA playoff record by erasing a 25-point halftime deficit to beat the Indiana Pacers 119-111.
Lance Stephenson played really well in each of the games this series, but this game was Lance Stephenson’s best performance of the year. Stephenson totaled 22 points and really came up big when needed. Whenever it looked like the Cavs were going to “Deal Break” the Pacers in this one, Stephenson put down a “Just Say No.” But of course James “Just Say No’d” Stephenson right back. James hit a clutch 3 with 68 seconds left, as the Cavs beat the Pacers 106-102.