Westbrook entered Oklahoma City Thunders' 137-123 win against the Memphis Grizzles on Wednesday needing 16 rebounds to complete his triple double average for a second straight season. Instead, the Pacers dropped Cleveland for the 13th time in their last 15 visits to Indianapolis - with the new-look Pacers opening the game on a 13-2 run and closing it on a 13-5 run to snap Cleveland's win streak. They're long. They're athletic.
The Jazz-Blazers game was the 1,230th and final regular-season matchup of the season. That includes Hood, who played in his first playoffs last spring for the Utah Jazz and saw his numbers take a significant decline from the regular season. But he does. Playoff LeBron is for real, and he can be absolutely devastating when he tries on defense. If it happens in Game 1 against the Pacers, it would be a first. The Pacers are the lucky team to take on LeBron James first, but is his team as risky as they've been recently? Hosts Harris Rubenstein and Tom Downey break down the top teams that LeBron James could sign with and also discuss the top 10 plays of James' 2017-2018 season.
The 33-year-old has traditionally sat out games near the end of the season to rest for the playoffs, however, he insisted this campaign he stay on the court. So they're more individual efforts.
When the postseason tipped off past year, the Pacers top five scorers were Paul George, Jeff Teague, Myles Turner, C.J. Miles and Thaddeus Young. The teams split four regular-season meetings. Do they have the ability to actually be an adequate National Basketball Association defense? The Cavs have been using Jeff Green as their de facto wing stopper in recent weeks, and he's done well in that role.
And then there's the Indiana Pacers. Each team put either a larger more athletic player like Ben Simmons or smaller and extremely athletic player like Donovan Mitchell on Oladipo.
For Cleveland, other than James, center Kevin Love will be looking to make a big impact. Even when the Cavs were on their great stretches, it's because the offense was elite. Victor Oladipo led the team with 23.1 points per game, appearing in 75 contests and shooting a decent 47.7 percent from the field. LeBron gets buckets and finds ways to win simply by finding harmony and balance in the chaos. They are the two stars and they will be asked to do a lot of heavy lifting for the duration of the series.
So the most important thing they have to do is figure out what the hell their rotation is, period, point blank.
"The good thing is we got the best player in the world playing for us", Hill said.
As for the Pacers, don't sleep on Thaddeus Young.
This beats his previous high of 81 games which was recorded in 2009-10 during James' first stint with the Cavs and long before his now-iconic championship performances.
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