Pacers to Keep Things Interesting vs. Cavs Today

Indiana Pacers players

Charles Stark

Saturday, April 15, 2017 3:42 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017 3:42 PM GMT

The NBA playoffs kick off today in Cleveland when the Cavaliers host the Pacers. Oddsmakers have come out making Lebron James and company a strong home favorite, but can Indiana make this game, and this series tough for them? 

Indiana Pacers

Indiana comes into this contest on a five-game winning streak with their last loss being in the same arena taking the Cavaliers to double-overtime. In their last three matchups against Cleveland they haven't had much success losing all three times, however, they should come into this game with some confidence after playing them tough to just two weeks back. On the season Indiana has been one of the better offensive teams in the NBA shooting 37.6% from distance and 46.5% overall ranking them fourth and 10th respectively. 

What has me liking them tonight though is the fact that this is a good defensive team as well allowing opponents to shoot just 45.1% from the floor and 35.5% from distance which will be the point of contention tonight. This Indiana team, led by Paul George, has some nice depth and is very talented across the board. They don’t allow a ton of tempo and should be able to mitigate some of Cleveland’s offensive weapons especially from beyond the arc. They will not be intimidated in this matchup and most likely believe they can come in and steal this first game.

 Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland comes in on a bit of a slide losing their last four games, but the last three were due to the fact they decided to rest some key players instead of push for the number one slot. Still, this is a Cleveland team that is not been playing well over the past few weeks except for a couple games here and there and they have struggled defensively. On the season Cleveland is allowing opponents to shoot almost 46% from the floor and over 36% from distance. They like to push the tempo and get up and down the floor but I think they will have a little bit of trouble doing that tonight against a very athletic Indiana team that will try to limit pace. On the other side of the ball, the Cavaliers remain one of the best in the NBA especially from distance shooting 38.4% ranking second. Of course, Lebron and company are very talented but if they don’t set things up on the defensive side of the ball I think Indiana can take this game to the wire.

 Indiana Pacers vs Cleveland Cavaliers  

Oddsmakers have made Indiana a +8.5 underdog and for my NBA pick, I will back them in this spot. Until Cleveland shows me something on the defensive end I will have no problem fading them. Expect this game to be closer than most people anticipate.

 

Free NBA Pick: Pacers +8.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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