Cavs waive Sanders in move before playoff roster finalized
All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving (knee) and center Tristan Thompson (thumb) also could be held out.
The Cleveland Cavaliers lost four straight to get to this moment. As the second seed, they would open against seventh-seed IN, barely a.500 team.
Coach Lue looked forward to the first round of the playoffs, versus the seventh seeded Indiana Pacers.
Today after the Pacers practiced at the Fieldhouse, they hopped on a plane and head to Cleveland for game one of round one with the Cavaliers. "And that's to be expected when you play two days later". "We have to be very determined, but we also have to be very smart about our game plan and how we execute that game plan, execute that (for as close to) 48 minutes as possible starting with Game 1".
For the year, the Cavaliers finished just 22nd in the National Basketball Association in defensive rating. This team lost two starters and made it to The Finals and was two games away from winning a championship two years ago, and most of these same guys are the ones who did that.
The Cavs (51-30) host the Toronto Raptors in the season finale Wednesday night and will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs this weekend. Their defense is sixth worst in the league, they're barely getting by teams like the Charlotte Hornets for wins and they had a worse record in March than the worst team in the league, the Brooklyn Nets.
During the regular season, James averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 37.8 minutes of play over 74 games. Kevin Love is the third double-digit scorer and Kyle Korver is grabbing 2.8 rebounds.
The first game of the Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers best of seven series tips off at 3pm EST on April 15. But the Cavs have work to do.
"It's who I've wanted to match up against", he said. "Honestly, we can't worry about anything that happened before or in last season's playoffs". You know what I'm saying?
The Pacers (42-40) have a history with James in the playoffs. While the Pacers have been hot, they don't have the talent to compete with the Cavs.
In order for the Cavs to kick things into high gear, James and superstar point guard Kyrie Irving need to do what they do best: dominate their one-on-one matchups and lead the team on both ends of the floor.
"Tomorrow will be a good test for us", he said. Once his opponent and the game date and time were set, he went to house and pulled the all nighter. Conversely, this time last season the Cavaliers, hungry to avenge their 2015 Finals lost to the Warriors, were fourth in the National Basketball Association in opponent's points allowed at 98.3 and holding the opposition to a.448 field goal percentage. It's going to be a fun matchup. We are looking forward to all the games.
HollywoodLifers, who are you rooting for in this round, the Pacers or the Cavaliers? Four games might not sound like much but most playoff teams don't lose that many games in a row. As an assistant on Doc Rivers' teams in Boston and Los Angeles, it was Lue's job to draw up the defensive schemes for the playoffs. "It's time to put up or shut up and I think we'll put up". He averaged 29.7 points in three games against the Cavs. On April 2, the two engaged in an epic 135-130 double overtime win for Cleveland.
This is not the first time James had a hard time in the regular season.
James recognizes the Cavs' flaws and understands why they appear susceptible to an early-round upset. So, teams have gotten better, and that's just the biggest difference to me.
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