Pacers To Face Cavs In Round 1 Of Playoffs

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To appreciate where this team stands now - a No. 4 seed, 50 regular-season wins, homecourt advantage in the first round, a healthy LeBron James and a shot at a fourth straight Finals - we must first consider the depths from where the Cavaliers came.

"Kevin's just being Kevin", coach Tyronn Lue said Friday after practice.

Pop could make me into a viable 6th man of the year by the end of next year and the National Basketball Association wouldn't blink an eye.

"He understands he's a big part of what we're trying to do. All of that is behind us now and I just want to look forward to going into the playoffs".

James was the only player to average at least 25 points (27.5), eight rebounds (8.6) and nine assists (9.1) and shoot at least.500 from the field. This season, those numbers were 17.6 and 9.3. Philly could be without center Joel Embiid to start the playoffs due to his facial injury.

"I have no idea", James said. "I know what's at stake". I mean it's hard to play 82 games. "I think he's probably the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the vote".

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Love shot.458 from the field this season, including.415 on 3-pointers, and.880 at the line.

"I've been on a team that played a 10-man rotation in the playoffs, but I haven't been on a team this deep, so I think we'll have a lot of great guys that we can throw out there on the court with big lineups, small lineups", he said. "When they're running the floor, that opens everything up for Kevin". It isn't expected to keep him out of the postseason and he's probable for the opening game.

However, let's focus on just IN and more importantly on just Oladipo. "I think we've been nine in the past, but I think it's going to be important to go 10 for us". Many fans may be hoping for a bit of variety with a new championship series to watch next month. Without LeBron Cleveland is likely a lottery team, but with LeBron you can pencil them in as the favorite to win the East every year with confidence. "Everybody will be like, 'Man, 'Bron got to be doing something, ' and I'm like, 'No, he actually put in the groundwork and everything you see is because he sacrificed.' It's fantastic to watch".

Though the Cavs are seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference, Love loves their chances of reaching the NBA Finals for a fourth straight year. And since today isn't that day, instead we will talk about why this season LeBron deserves to be named MVP.

"My name has always come up and will always continue to come up in trade rumors", Love said. "I feel like we're a really tough out, to beat us four games". For all of the philosophical changes to the way the game is played from a tactical perspective, no scheme is good enough on its own to counteract the impact James has just for suiting up for the opposing team.