By Travis Frey
What can I say? The first round matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers had re-captured my interest in the NBA. I’ve always been a die-hard NBA fan but I must admit this year I hadn’t followed it quite the way I usually do. This matchup caught my eye for sure.
‘King’ LeBron James, the most dominant NBA player since the great Michael Jordan took on my childhood team, the Indiana Pacers. Now the Pacers of today are not the team I grew up loving, only similarity –the logo.
- This year’s Pacers have surprised not only me but NBA ‘experts’. They traded away their star last year, Paul George and basically got nothing in return, or so the so-called ‘experts’ said. Now Paul George is a good player, but to me, I always felt he was a little ‘overrated’. But now with the trade (Paul George asked to be traded), the Pacers didn’t get much of big names back. They got a good balance of solid players. Including a player I liked in college and wanted the Pacers to draft (unfortunately the Orlando Magic picked before the Pacers and took the guy I wanted) him but not he ends up on the Pacers anyway; his name is Victor Oladipo.
- The Cavs had home court advantage, and I heard most NBA ‘experts’ saying the Cavs will beat the Pacers in 5 games. I have to admit I believed this series would most likely be over in 5 games as well but the Pacers played tough, they played more fluently as a team than I have seen any Pacer team play since the year 2000. Victor Oladipo had an incredible series, averaging 22.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The year before when Oladipo was with the Oklahoma City Thunder he only averaged 10.8 points per game, so he definitely picked his game up.
- Unfortunately for my Pacers, they ran into the incredible LeBron James. James averaged 34.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. James had two 40 point games in the series and a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in game 5. Game 7, do or die, LeBron had another incredible performance with 45 points, helping to defeat the Pacers and win the series 4-3.
- Game 1: Cavs-80, Pacers-98
- Game 2: Cavs-100, Pacers-97
- Game 3: Cavs-90, Pacers-92
- Game 4: Cavs-104, Pacers-100
- Game 5: Cavs-98, Pacers-95
- Game 6: Cavs-87, Pacers-121
- Game 7: Cavs-105, Pacers-101