For the past seven years, a LeBron James led team has been in the NBA Finals and everybody fully expected it to happen once this year despite the roster overhaul and struggles during the regular season for the Cavs.
"The oldest National Basketball Association playoff cliche snaked its way into the Cavaliers" locker room Sunday.Hasn't been around these parts much, because, well, losing Game 1 of a first-round series is not something they do.
The 98-80 victory marked the first time since 2012 that LeBron James had lost a first round playoff game.
THUNDER 116, JAZZ 108: Paul George scored 36 points to help Oklahoma City win at home in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series.
Furthermore, according to BasketballReference.com, LeBron has never lost a Game 1 in the first round.
"Right now, I'm focused on game two", said Oladipo. "I just think as a team they need to come together and they can't even rely on LeBron because if you can get a triple-double in the playoffs that says a lot about your team".
"He just has to be more aggressive by attacking the basket and being more decisive offensively", Lue said.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue battled lineup switches and substitutions the entire night, but he did stick to his plan of playing ten players in the rotation during meaningful minutes. That's why we came to play this game is to win, not just to come here and just be OK. Kevin Love only shot 2 shots inside the arc, which is completely unacceptable for a big man. LeBron will also get on his starters because no one in the starting lineup besides LeBron scored more than 10 points. Bojan Bogdanovic pitched in 15 points while Myles Turner dominated the paint with 16 points.
The Boston Celtics almost fell victim to another Eastern Conference opening upset bid before edging visiting Milwaukee 113-107 in overtime.
The Pacers were energized by an emphatic dunk from Lance Stephenson early in the game en route to a 33-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. Terry Rozier added 23 points and Jaylen Brown contributed 23. We can do better in a lot of different areas. "It's just a matter of us going out there and punching back".
The All-Star had 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 6-of-9 from long distance.
Oladipo finished with a game-high 32 points as the Pacers dominated from start to finish. (All of ESPN's experts picked the Cavs, for example.) That's despite the Pacers having a better point differential for the year, and despite IN having won three of their four regular season games.
Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns failed to get untracked Sunday, scoring just eight points, well below his season average of 21.3 points. The chief culprits in watching that deficit grow were the Cavaliers' miserable shooting during the quarter, connecting on just 5-of-20 (25 percent) from the field, while also committing six turnovers.