What We Learned: Cavs vs Pacers

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Cleveland was finally able to take care of business against the surging Indiana Pacers on Friday night. The Cavaliers have struggled with the Pacers all season, but they were able to pull this one out thanks to clutch plays by the King and Dellavedova (yeah, I said Delly). Here’s what we learned from the win.

• The Cavs are playoff bound. Cleveland has officially locked up a playoff spot with Friday’s win. This is the first time the Cavs are going to be in postseason action since LeBron left for Miami in 2010. It’ll be fun to see playoff basketball finally come back to the Q. However, the Wine and Gold still have work to do. Coach Blatt has made it clear that he wants this team to finish in the number 2 seed in the conference.

• LeBron is still the closer for the Cavs, even when he has a cold. Kyrie Irving has shown that he has the ability to make clutch shots, but LBJ is still the go to guy at the end of the game. People will point to LeBron’s poor free throw shooting against the Rockets that cost Cleveland the game, but it’s unfair to judge a player completely on one game. The King showed us on Friday night that he can still close teams out. James finished with 29/5/7, including 13 fourth quarter points. LeBron carried his team down the stretch in this one. He wasn’t going to let them lose again to the Pacers.

• The Cavs can overcome a poor shooting night from Kyrie Irving. Irving wasn’t on his game on Friday night. He finished with only 13 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Kyrie’s shot just wasn’t on for him on Friday night. Fortunately the Cavs were able to pick him up on the offensive end. 5 other Cavs ended the day in double figures scoring.

• Everyone whining about Matthew Dellavedova can stop for at least a day. Delly was able to pick up some of the slack for Irving on Friday night. He finished with 11 points (all of which came in the second half) on 4 of 6 shooting, including 3 of 4 from deep. He knocked down clutch 3’s just when the Cavs needed him to do. He was able to flip a 1 point deficit, into a 5 point lead early in the fourth by knocking down back to back 3’s. Delly provided the spark the Cavs needed to win this one.

Player of the Game: LeBron James (29/5/7) – Just another day in the office for the King.

Cleveland will be back in action Sunday against the Bucks. Let’s see if we can keep up the good work in Milwaukee.

Jackson Flickinger

pic credit Cleveland.com

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