The Cleveland Cavaliers appeared content to face the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs after mailing in their final regular season game, a 110-98 loss to the New York Knicks, played without Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and minimal input (11 minutes) from LeBron James.
Since Philly rolled past Milwaukee, the Cavs would still have drawn the Pacers even with a win, but the intent to remain locked in a series with the Pacers should add to the collective chip the Pacers team has carried on their shoulder all season.
So once again, the Pacers face LeBron James in the playoffs, though this time around there are some differences. For starters, the Pacers starters, and bench for that matter, is much different with three new starters this year and normally six faces among the top nine in the playing rotation. Oh, and none of those taking the floor for the Pacers are looking to kiss the ring of “The King” nor have any torch passed their way.
The playoffs are such a different animal than the regular season that it’s hard to project how this Pacers team will react, but spilling their guts to win won’t be the issues. Executing and, well, LeBron will determine just how much fun this first-round series will be. OK, Lance too. Regardless, I can’t wait for it to get started.
Here’s the series schedule and TV info followed by LeBron’s initial comments on the matchup.
Game 1 at Cleveland - Sunday, Apr. 15 - 3:30 PM ET ABC
Game 2 at Cleveland - Wednesday, Apr. 18 - 7 PM ET TNT/FOX Sports Indiana
Game 3 at Indiana - Friday, Apr. 20 - 7 PM ET ESPN/FOX Sports Indiana
Game 4 at Indiana - Sunday, Apr. 22 - 8:30 PM ET TNT/FOX Sports Indiana
Game 5 at Cleveland - Wednesday, Apr. 25 - Time/TV: TBD
Game 6 at Indiana - Friday, Apr. 27 - Time/TV: TBD
Game 7 at Cleveland - Sunday, Apr. 29 - Time/TV: TBD