Can any team keep pace with Cavs In first round playoffs? - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Can any team keep pace with Cavs In first round playoffs?

(Source: Cleveland Cavaliers) (Source: Cleveland Cavaliers)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

By 11 p.m. on Wednesday night, the Cavs' first-round matchup will be set.

They could remain the four seed, or they could leapfrog over Philly and get back to three, where they'd square off with one of three teams: the Bucks, Heat or Wizards.

But, if they stay at four, it's a round one rematch with the Indiana Pacers, and the question is: is that a good thing?

It is if you remember what happened a year ago, when the Cavs swept through Indy in round one, with LeBron throwing down 33 a game. The Pacers still had Paul George, of course, who went for 28 a game in that series. But the Cavaliers also still had Kyrie.

A lot has changed since. Kyrie's long gone, and not even a factor for Boston in these playoffs, and George went to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Damontos Sabonis, and Oladipo has taken advantage of his homecoming by jacking up his scoring average to more than 23 a game--a significant increase.

These Pacers are better than last year's Pacers, and they've shown it in their match-ups with the Cavaliers this season, taking three out of four. In fact, the Pacers are the only possible first-round opponent with a winning record against the Cavs this season. 

What does it mean? Not much in the long run. The Cavaliers, who've been incomplete the entire season, should have everybody back. They'll have home court, and of course, the best player on that court. 

But that doesn't mean it would be easy. Of all the possible first-round match-ups, this may be the toughest. Cavaliers would advance, but it's tough to see 'em sweeping through Indy again. 

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