The playoff opening series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for game 3. The series is tied 1-1 after the Cleveland Cavaliers bounced back in game 2 with a 100-97 win. Indiana has stolen home court advantage and now look to take control of the series back at home. The Cavaliers will have to prove that their reconstructed roster can win a playoff game on the road.
The Pacers dominated the Cavs in the series opener, but couldn’t do the same in game 2. LeBron James wasn’t going to let his team get down 2-0 and he had another historic game. Both teams will have to make adjustments heading into game 3. The Indiana Pacers are -1.5 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.
LeBron Won’t Go Down Without a Fight
Game 1 left the Cleveland Cavaliers with a ton of questions. Luckily for them, LeBron James had all of the answers. King James turned in a masterful performance in game 2, scoring 46 points on 17-24 shooting. LeBron wasn’t going to let the Cavs lose another game at home, and was determined to get to the rim and finish.
At some point, the rest of the Cavaliers players are going to have to show up. Kevin Love and Kyle Korver were the only other Cleveland players to score in double figures in game 2. LeBron will do his best to carry his teammates, but he can’t keep doing it alone. The key for the Cavs in game 3 will be to find a scoring option other than James.
Pacers Must Find an Answer for the King
The Indiana Pacers were just one possession away from taking a 2-0 series lead. Indiana must feel good with the way they played in Cleveland, but also afraid of what they saw from LeBron in game 2. Both Lance Stephenson and Victor Oladipo failed to try to contain James in game 2, and they must make adjustments to stop him in game 3. The Pacers also need more rim protection from center, Myles Turner.
Oladipo will continue to be the main offensive weapon for the Pacers in this pivotal game 3. The Pacers will also need to shoot better from the three point line, as they were just 6-22 in their game 2 defeat. The home crowd should inspire the role players to step up their play in game 3.
Pacers Defend Home Court
The Indiana Pacers will win game 3 thanks to one word: defense. Adjustments will need to be made in order to keep James from having another monster game. The rest of the Cavaliers players haven’t shown that they are ready for this moment, so the Pacers need to make someone other than LeBron beat them.
Oladipo is an extremely confident player and should give the home fans plenty to cheer about in game 3. Look for the shooters of the Pacers to step up and knock down more shots playing in their home arena. LeBron won’t go down without a fight, but his team will go down in game 3. Bet on the Indiana Pacers -1.5 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.