Oohh baby, now this is a Game 7 I can get behind. Sure, a Pacers upset would be crazy in its own right, but this game could have loads of implications that are much bigger. Depending on how LeBron James and the Cavs do, the entire landscape of the league could be altered going forward.
I’m also very interested to see what bettors think. In the early going, the Pacers are getting a ton of spread bets at +5.5. Almost nobody has faith in the Cavs, but I think deep down we all know the King is going to have one hell of a game, win or lose. — Mark Gallant
INDIANA PACERS AT CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (-5.5) | O/U: 200.5
1 p.m. ET
Will the Real Cavs Offense Please Stand Up?
By Matt Moore
Game 7s from a traditional analysis standpoint are pretty simple. At this point in the series, the adjustments are just about done. You’ve figured out everything you’re going to figure out. This one might be a bit different because of the wild swings with Cavaliers players. If Ty Lue benches Jeff Green entirely, that could very well swing the series. Green is a -41 raw in 124 minutes. If Kevin Love is a plus and not a minus, that swings things. If Kyle Korver plays more, that swings things. You get the picture.
But, in reality, this is the best way to think about it: Home teams in Game 7s since 2000-2001 have shot 46% from the field and 37% from 3-point range. Road teams have shot under 42% from the field and just 33% from deep.
The Cavs defense — you know, the one we all saw as a disaster in the regular season — showed up in Game 6. They posted a 131 Defensive Rating and were completely lost.
The third quarter was where the wheels came off. In this clip, LeBron James just flat out misses his mark trying to take a charge and Turner goes by him.
In this next clip, James corrects… and Turner drops it off to Thaddeus Young in the dunker spot.