Oladipo was a favorite of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, but the front office voted 9-1 to draft Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall.
Down 1-0 in the first round. "So I'm the last guy to ask about what I'm gonna be like the next couple days", James said.
"We've been there so many times this season", explained Myles Turner.
IN took control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and pushing it to 23 in the third. The Cavs stormed back and got within seven, but Oladipo hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71. This is also the first time the Cavs have lost Game 1 in the first round since 1998, also against the Pacers. We witnessed a flawed team playing a bad game. It was just the second nationally televised game they had played in all year. And that won't change until one of these teams proves it can beat the Cavs four times in seven games.
The Pacers lead the all-time regular season series 97-92 and won three of the four meetings this season: Cleveland took a 115-108 home win in the last matchup on January 26.
James scored 24 with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career triple-double.
JR Smith (15 points) and Larry Nance (10 points and five rebounds) provided their best arguments for replacing Rodney Hood (nine points) and Jeff Green (zero points) in the starting lineup. He's doing even more now. At the top of the list: the Cavs' have multiple players without any prior playoff experience, and majority looked either scared or hurt. Eventually George went to Oklahoma City.
Well, it's now going to take a first-round comeback. Since James' return in 2014, the Cavaliers had won all 12 first-round games, with both that mark and James' streak of not having lost a first-round game since 2012 coming to an end.
The 33-year-old is trying to get to his eighth straight Finals. Those Pacers, though, didn't have Oladipo (32 points) or the balance of this Indy squad, which may lack experience but not confidence. However, each surge by the Cavs was countered by the Pacers, who ended up taking a 55-38 lead into halftime.
"We've been down a lot, a lot of injuries, and we've always found a way", Horford said. "They still don't believe".
"They came in and they attacked us and they were aggressive".
Oladipo could have been a Cavalier and helping Cleveland in the playoffs, or at least still in the Western Conference, but is now the team's biggest adversary in the first round of the 2018 postseason. We're fully aware of LeBron and his team, and we know it's not going to be easy. As far as the blitz, I thought we did a good job of getting into him. If you saw how the Cavs played after the first quarter, they actually played very well.
Coach McMillan said someone came to him recently to remind him of Cavs owner Dan Gilbert saying that IN "could have done better" IN their Paul George-Victor Oladipo trade.
"You could say it added fuel to the fire", Oladipo said. You can't control his opinion.