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Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Mo. Indiana, Detroit, Or Chicago?

John Kuntz l cleveland.com

John Kuntz l cleveland.com

Indiana Pacers

In my opinion, this would be the ideal first round matchup for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s a team that the Cavs are familiar with, and also doesn’t possess too much playoff experience. With the Pacers and Pistons tied in the standings, Indiana holds the tiebreaker with a 3-1 series lead in the regular season.

If the Pistons were to overtake the Pacers in the final standings, they will need to finish one game clear of them, and with five games left in the season the Cavaliers could literally hold the fate of both teams in their own hands with games against both still left to play.

PROS OF FACING THE PACERS

The season series currently stands at 3-0 against Indiana, the only winning record Cleveland has over the possible three matchups. Indiana is a one-man machine, relying completely and heavily on Paul George. George averages 23.3 points a night to lead the Pacers, while the second leading scorer on the team is Monta Ellis, averaging a mere 14.0 points every outing.

The starting five matchups all over the floor definitely swing in the Cavs’ direction, but it’s when you start looking down the depth chart, as a Cavs fan, that you start to smile. Cleveland has been noted on their lack of bench scoring on most nights, ranking 17th in league for bench production. Indiana on the other hand ranks horribly, actually ranking second to last in the league for bench scoring. The smiling doesn’t stop there either Cavs Nation. The Pacers put up 24.1 points off the bench, while their backup shooting guard (and Cavs single game three-point makes co-record holder) C.J Miles averages 11.6 of those. Meaning that another 4-6 players combine a total of 12.6 points a night.

I love stats.

CONS OF FACING THE PACERS

Paul George has unfinished business with LeBron James and he will die trying to level the score. For three consecutive years, Paul George and the Indiana Pacers’ season was ended by James, two of those occasions being in the Eastern Conference Finals. If anyone has a score to settle, it is definitely George.

A very interesting stat that the national media will surely stumble upon, and make a big deal out of, is that Cleveland may hold the season series at 3-0 but have done so winning games by an average of 4.3 points, including an overtime game.

But that’s all I can find, BRING ON THE PACERS!

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