LeBron's Playoff Mindset Unchanged: Try to Dominate


(First-Round) Playoff LeBron - It's hard to imagine James, who has virtually averaged a triple-double for over two months, to have another level to reach.

The Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers meet Sunday in game one of the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs at the Quicken Loans Arena. That will depend on LeBron James.

Better protect those chins, Pacers.

But more than that, LeBron is happy that everyone will be available.

James' track record in the opening round is immaculate; he owns a 12-0 record in first-round series and his teams are 48-7 overall, with an active 21-game winning streak.

Heading into their First Round matchup with Indy, the Wine & Gold are a flawless 12-0 in First Round games since 2015 (4-0 over Boston in 2015, 4-0 over Detroit in 2016 and 4-0 over in in 2017).

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Facing him means an early exit. The Cavs will have the home court advantage, but the Pacers have the advantage in the season series at 3-1.

And while he knows the Pacers have their talent, LeBron isn't anxious. "Listen, it's going to be a very good matchup". The Pacers are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Cleveland, 13-5-1 ATS in the last 19 meetings and the under is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings.

Love and the Cavs, who used 30 starting lineups in the regular season, should also benefit from being fully healthy for one of the few times in 2017-18. Obviously, their season, from the outside looking in, was more productive than ours because of what they went through in the offseason. "But I feel good about what we have".

James assumed a massive workload during the regular season, but extra miles didn't slow him. The presumed Most Improved Player of the Year has been the team's unquestioned best player.

It's the fifth time in the last seven years the Pacers have faced LeBron James in the postseason. Victor Oladipo is averaging 23.1 points and 4.3 assists while Bojan Bogdanovic is averaging 14.3 points and 3.4 rebounds.

The Pacers' starting guards are more of a concern to Lue than Joseph, however.

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I have to congratulate the players for doing so, it wasn't easy. "Today we played against the third-placed team, and we won". Villarreal are sixth on 48 points, Sevilla are seventh on 47, with Betis fifth on 52 after winning 1-0 at Girona on Friday.

Sure, I know that Vegas and the sports pundits give the Blue and Gold no chance to even make it a series.

Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley's philosophy in the playoffs was: "You rotate eight players". "It's well-documented we only have four guys left from that (2016) championship team (James, Love, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith), but we have a lot of veteran, savvy guys with a ton of experience".

The names, the teams, the opponents, the teammates - they all change. James stays the same. "Go out and try to dominate".

IN surprised the critics and won 48 games and lost 34, fifth in the East and matching the record of Oklahoma City, with Russell Westbrook, George and Carmelo Anthony.

"I always feel like when we take the floor we're going to win every game", he said. "I came in Game 4 playing Dallas and I think my first game had 15 points and I've played ever since".

Turner's struggles continued as he went 1 of 8 from the field and finished with two points in 20 minutes.

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The Indiana Pacers look to make an early statement in this series after being one of the bigger surprises in the season already. He's grateful for a fresh start. The Cavs still feature the best player on the floor in the series, but they don't feature the same type of team that the Pacers do. "I need to score points, rebound and block shots". "Everybody's the team to beat", James said. This time, though, Stephenson claims he has no plans to rankle King James. "I think your mindset has to be to stop him and to want to win against him".