IN came in 15-6 in the playoffs when it wins the opener.
The Pacers' first-round series begins in Cleveland where they'll try to beat LeBron James in the playoffs for the first time. The incomparable, 33-year old James has owned the conference for what seems like forever. The Pacers were one of the biggest surprises of the season, jumping from 42 to 48 wins after trading face of the franchise Paul George last summer.
The problem is, Victor Oladipo had other plans in mind.
The Pacers are 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 Sunday games, 12-5 ATS in their last 17 vs. Here's five reasons the Cavs will sweep Indiana. The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series 97-92 and won three of the four meetings this season: Cleveland took a 115-108 home win in the last matchup on January 26. The Pacers stole homecourt with a dominant 98-80 win over Cleveland, with Stephenson and James having plenty of run-ins.
Lue refused to name his full starting lineup for Sunday's Game 1. Cleveland had won 14 straight first-round games, last losing on April 22, 2010, the last season of James' first stint with the Cavs. Cleveland cut the lead to as little as seven points on three separate occasions in the second half, but in kept its distance and sealed the game with back-to-back buckets from Victor Oladipo, the second a 3-pointer for a 95-78 lead with 1:59 remaining.
Trailing by those 17 points at intermission, the Cavaliers soon found themselves in even worse shape as they faced a 23-point deficit at 61-38 with 10:28 left in the third quarter. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo (32 points) or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence. That surge started with two J.R. Smith 3-pointers, triggering what wound up being a 13-1 run to make it a 70-63 game with 1:06 remaining in the quarter.
Kevin Love gave the Cavs 16.0 points and a strong 11.0 rebounds over the four games, while Jeff Green added 11.5 points on 62.1 percent shooting.
Gronk won't be at start of Patriots' offseason program, still weighing future
Last season, the Patriots tight end picked up 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 regular season games. The Patriots open the voluntary portion of their offseason program on Monday.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue will use a 10-man rotation against IN and has already named Green as a starter and Calderon as a must play off the bench.
However, if there is anything we have learned about this year's Pacers team, it's that they are nothing like the previous Pacers teams.
I can still see LeBron scoring the winning basket of game one in 2013, when then coach Frank Vogel had 7-1 Roy Hibbert on the bench instead of defending the rim. The Cleveland Cavaliers are allowing 36.8 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.1 rebounds per game.
He's also never lost the opening game of a series, which bodes well for his latest Cavs group [VIDEO].
Even in a losing effort, James was spectacular as always, recording a triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
And why not, The Monster will get the benefit of the doubt on ever whistle and he is still the best player in the world.