The playoffs are here for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Facing off versus a divisional foe, what must be done to advance to the second round?
Does the seeding really matter this season or in general for the Cleveland Cavaliers? If it were not for their success over the past three seasons, it would have.
If a team can knock the Cavaliers off then that whole line of thinking will need to be reevaluated. Until then, it simply doesn’t matter since the east goes through the Cavs like it has been.
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Cleveland is the fourth seed this year as they take on the fifth-seeded central division foe Indiana Pacers. The first game of the series is on Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
Indiana knows Cleveland very well, so what should be watched for during the upcoming series? First thing first: How long will it take Cleveland to take what they learned facing Indiana in the regular season and implement it in the postseason? The Pacers won three of their four meetings. However, two of their wins were only either two or four points.
On the court, how much will Pacers G/F Lance Stephenson impact James’ play? Those two have gone at it over the years. What Stephenson is most known for during his time guarding James is blowing air in James’ face (as a member of the Miami Heat).
That was just one of many mind games/annoyances Stephenson did or attempted to do to LBJ. There is no reason for that to stop now as the competitive nature of both will once again be something exciting to watch throughout.
An underrated matchup that could dictate how long the series goes is Pacers C Domantas Sabonis versus the Cavs’ big men. Sabonis seemed like he was just added in as a throw-in when the Pacers acquired him from Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason.
Sabonis, who is in his second year, is making a name for himself and has a bright future ahead of himself. In four games versus the Cavaliers this season, he certainly left his mark all over the box score.
Lastly, how much is SF Cedi Osman going to play and how will that impact some of the other wings? Despite Osman being just a rookie, I’d like to see him get more playing time in the postseason. He only averaged 11 during the regular season.
Eventually, Osman will have a key role but it won’t be during this postseason. Until that happens, the limited playing time is something he will have to continue to live with. I’d like to see Osman get a few of Kyle Korver‘s and J.R. Smith‘s minutes but because they are experienced veterans it is what it is.
Hopefully, when Osman does get more time he won’t struggle too much. If that should happen in the future, we can all look back at this season as a reminder of why he wasn’t ready.
Since Osman should still play but not much, the other wings’ time won’t matter too much unless they get into foul trouble. Then again, there is always that hero during the postseason, so maybe ruling out Osman now wouldn’t be a good idea.