The Pacers tip off Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs on Sunday against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
LeBron James is a familiar post-season sight for the Pacers, sending the Blue and Gold into the offseason in five of their last six playoff appearances. But from a roster stand point, things are much different this year.
LeBron’s squad is not nearly as deep and struggles to work consistently at the defensive end. The Pacers have six new players in the rotation, none named Paul George, playing a different style without the baggage of enduring those earlier playoff losses.
But the Pacers defense will key the series as LeBron still has his drive and dish, bread and butter game with shooters spotting up to burn the help on D. When the Cavs shoot north of 40 percent from behind the arc they are really tough to beat so the Pacers will have to continually adjust that help while keeping LBJ from waltzing to the rim.
There won’t be any surprises so it all comes down to execution at both ends for the Pacers.
As for injuries, the Pacers are healthy. Rodney Hood (sore Achilles) returns and will start for Cavs at shooting guard. Kyle Korver (foot) will be on a minutes restriction off the bench.
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Pacers at Cavaliers, Series tied 0-0 - 3:30 PM EDT at Quicken Loans Arena
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan
Projected starting lineups
Pacers: Darren Collison (PG), Victor Oladipo (SG), Bojan Bogdanovic (SF), Thaddeus Young (PF), Myles Turner (C)
Cavaliers: George Hill PG), Rodney Hood (SG), LeBron James (SF), Jeff Green (PF), Kevin Love (C)