CLEVELAND Daryl Johnston Jersey , Ohio — As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers commuted to their workouts Tuesday, they drove through temperatures hovering near the freezing mark and steady snow.
Before Game 1, there was no outdoor party in Cleveland celebrating another Cavs‘ playoff run, as there is usually before every postseason game.
A driving rain and cold temperatures saw to that.
And now, for the first time in LeBron James’ career, his team is down 0-1 in an opening-round playoff series.
This just doesn’t feel like playoff basketball in Cleveland.
“I would say our intensity, at least until we got hit in the mouth that first quarter, it didn’t quite feel like, I guess, the playoffs,” Cavs forward Kevin Love said. “That’s a weird thing to say. It feels like the playoffs, especially now that we’re down 0-1. We better be ready for it.”
The Pacers won Game 1, 98-80. Game 2 is at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Cleveland.
The Cavs trailed by 20 points before James even attempted a shot on Sunday. Love only scored nine points and Jeff Green was shut out in 27 minutes.
The Pacers Zach Zenner Jersey , meanwhile, were led by a playoff career high of 32 points from Victor Oladipo. They forced the Cavs into 17 turnovers. Myles Turner scored 16 points. Dating to the regular season, Indiana has won four out of five against the Cavs.
“They underestimate us,” said Indiana reserve Lance Stephenson, who scored 12 points. “They didn’t think we would get this far and they didn’t think we was going to win that many games, but if you look at our team, I guess you could say we don’t have that one player or the type of players that stand out and that’s why they underestimate us.”
Whereas the Pacers sound confident they can pull a historic upset — James’ teams have never lost a first-round series — the Cavs seem to believe James will set a different tone on Wednesday.
Yes, James posted a triple double in Game 1 (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), but he was clearly passive for the first 11 minutes. James is coming off arguably his finest of 15 pro seasons and averaged 29.5 points, 9.8 boards, and 10.0 assists in his last 30 games.
If that LeBron shows up Shannon Sharpe Jersey , coach Tyronn Lue things the Cavs will be fine.
“When he sets the tone early for us, we’re usually a really good team,” Lue said. “So coming out, set the tone early, be able to call plays that feature him early to be aggressive. He’s always going to make the right play and the right pass, get others involved, but tomorrow we’re going to need him to set the tone early, being aggressive and attacking the basket.”
The Pacers received 15 points from Bojan Bogdanovic, but he shot 5-of-17. Darren Collison was 2-of-9 shooting.
The game was so lopsided and the Cavs scored the second fewest points of their season, but the Pacers enter Game 2 feeling like they could still be better, too.
“They’re going to see what they can do from the previous game until now, even us we gotta be better,” Collison said. “There are some things we can improve on. I was looking at the film and we can do better in a lot of different areas so we can’t just take Game 1 and say we won and don’t have to do any improvements. We can be a whole lot better.”
Cavs point guard George Hill left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a sore back Tavon Wilson Jersey , sustained on an illegal screen by Trevor Booker in the second quarter. Hill is expected to play Wednesday.
Zach LaVine is staying in Chicago, with one of the biggest deals of free agency this summer now complete.
The Bulls on Sunday formally matched the four-year, $80 million offer sheet LaVine signed with the Sacramento Kings, a move that was expected almost from the instant the restricted free agent got the offer.
LaVine is one of only six free agents to get deals worth that much so far this summer, joining Chris Paul ($160 million), LeBron James ($153 million), Nikola Jokic ($148 million), Paul George ($137 million) and Aaron Gordon ($80 million). Phoenix’s Devin Booker signed a $158 million deal as well, his coming in the form of an extension and not through a foray into free agency.
LaVine has missed 91 of a possible 162 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, and the Bulls will have some language in this contract protecting them if his surgically repaired left knee remains problematic.
”Zach showed a relentless work ethic in rehabbing his ACL injury to return to the court, and he has a visible passion for the game of basketball,” Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. ”We know that those attributes, along with his honed skills A. J. Cann Jersey , will make him an impact player in this league for years to come. We’re thrilled to keep Zach on this Bulls team moving forward.”
LaVine appeared in only 24 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 16.7 points on 38 percent shooting. The Bulls acquired LaVine a year ago, as part of the trade that sent Jimmy Butler from Chicago to Minnesota.
”We’re excited now that we get to keep him,” Paxson said.
Deals have continued coming at a relatively slow pace since the July 1 opening day of free agency, when basically $1 billion in new contracts were agreed to in 24 hours – and only $400 million or so more in deals have been struck since.
Paul’s four-year, $160 million deal to stay in Houston was officially signed Sunday. He announced that he agreed to the terms of that contract right at 12:01 EDT on July 1, when free agency was officially beginning.
Also Sunday, a pair of veteran centers found new homes.
Zaza Pachulia is signing a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Detroit Pistons after starting 127 regular-season games over the last two seasons with the Golden State Warriors – helping them win championships in both seasons. And Brook Lopez has agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, after spending last season with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Both deals were confirmed to The Associated Press by people directly involved in the negotiations, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because neither had been formally announced by the clubs involved.
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