The Pacers played the Cavaliers tight in Game 1 and had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but CJ Miles missed his shot. However, the Pacers easily covered the side. In Game 2 with Cleveland at -8 and a total of 210, could Indiana be in play again Monday?
NBA Season Record 165-167-6; Playoffs: 3-2Pace Of Play
The biggest thing you’ll notice from Cleveland's Game 1 109-108 victory both watching and looking at the box score is that no team could miss. In the first half both Cleveland and Indiana had offensive ratings that were 120-plus, with the Cavaliers owning a 131.1 rating from their first half in Game 1.
That’s a lot of made shots, and you have to think coming into Game 2 that the Cavs will correct some of their defensive mistakes. The Pacers have no defense to begin with other than Paul George and Lance Stephenson, but even they will likely hold the Cavs to less than 54% shooting as Cleveland hit in Game 1.
Even though the strong shooting continued in the second half, the most noticeable difference between halves was the pace of 99 in the first and a pace of 82.5 possessions per 48 minutes in the second half.
The Sharp Pick
If we see more of a pace in this game like we did in the second half, along with some assumed regression in the shooting numbers from both teams (especially Indy), I think the Pacers are going to stay under 100 in this one.
That being said, Bovada sportsbook has the Pacers’ team total at 101½ for Game 2. As long as they don’t get another 59 points in the first half, I like the 'under' (-101.5 at Bovada) in their team total and the game total as well.