The Cleveland Cavaliers evened the seven game series at 1-1, after their 100-97 game 2 win over the Indiana Pacers. The two teams will now head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for games 3 and 4. Cleveland proved in game 2 that they still had plenty of fight left, and Indiana knows that they missed a great chance at a 2-0 series lead.
Any playoff series featuring the Cavaliers centers around Lebron James, and he delivered in a big way on Wednesday night. The Pacers head home knowing that they must find a way to stop the King if they want to dethrone him and the Cavs. The Pacers are -1.5 over the Cavaliers in game 3.
Pacers Look to Take Control
Coming into this series, the Indiana Pacers tried to tell the fans and the media that they could knock off the Cavs. Now is the time for them to show us. The Pacers dominated in game 1, but couldn’t do the same in back to back games. Pacers’ guards, Lance Stephenson and Victor Oladipo, must find a way to keep LeBron James in check. The rest of the Pacers need to protect the rim in game 3, and make someone other than LeBron beat them.
Oladipo continues to look like a star in these playoffs. He had another solid night in game 2, scoring 22 points and collecting 6 assists. The supporting cast of the Pacers will need to make more shots in game 3 if they want to take a series lead. The Pacers shot just 27.3% (6-22) from three point range in their game 2 loss.
LeBron James Needs Some Help
LeBron James decided that he needed it take it upon himself to win game 2, and get the Cavaliers even in the series. James had a monster night, finishing with 46 points and 12 rebounds. His size and explosiveness is difficult for the Pacers to stop, and he must continue to be assertive in game 3
James, however, will not be able to win this series on his own. Kevin Love and Kyle Korver were the only other Cavs players to score in double figures in game 2. The Pacers will make adjustments to try to contain James, and LeBron has to be able to trust his teammates. The depth of the Cavaliers will be tested as the series heads to Indianapolis.
Pacers Stop LeBron, Win Game 3
Indiana saw what LeBron is still capable of in game 2, and they now must find a way to stop him. The rest of the Cavaliers’ players have yet to show that they are ready to step and help their leader. Look for the Pacers to throw extra defenders at LeBron and make his supporting cast take shots.
The confident Pacers will also get a huge boost as they return home for game 3. Oladipo and company have been playing with a chip on their shoulder all season, and will be amped up for a home playoff game. The Pacers might not be able to stop LeBron completely, but they will contain him enough to win game 3. Bet the Indiana Pacers -1.5 over the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 3.
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