LeBron, Cavs escape with 109-108 win over Pacers in Game 1

Their fierce on-the-floor rivalry blossomed into a strong friendship that will be put on hold.

LeBron James and Paul George will meet in the playoffs for the fourth time.

The Pacers however are red hot, Paul George in particular.

"We've got to go out and challenge them", George said, according to the Indianapolis Star.

With the Celtics beating the Brooklyn Nets 114-105, the defeat dropped the Cavs one game behind Boston for first place in the conference. Coach Jason Kidd sets the tone. They lost their final four games, in part because Love, Irving and James were rested the final two games. The champions bounced back in February but by March, they were again struggling. "That's all you can ask for". Maybe this is the reason why he is confident heading into the first round where they will take on the No. 8 team in the East, the Indiana Pacers. IN is playing good basketball.

George recovered, won a gold medal with team U.S. and is back to the dominating force he was prior to the injury. The morale was always up having him around. "I would never say they're vulnerable".

"I have a lot of great friends in this locker room and guys I care about", Jones said. "Any time you have a great talent like that in a playoff series, you've got to be able to game plan". Klay Thompson said that LeBron James got his feelings hurt, James merely laughed, won the next three games, and beat the Warriors.

The Indiana Pacers are headed to the postseason.

The Bulls are +6600 longshots to advance to the NBA Finals along with the seventh-seeded Indiana Pacers (42-40), and it would be a bit surprising if either team won more than a couple games between them in their respective first-round series.

Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Miami.

The 2016-2017 regular season was one of the weirdest regular seasons I've been witness to, and not only that, but this has been one of the weirdest regular seasons in the career of one LeBron James.

"We have to be very aware of him", Lue said. "I wish it wasn't against us". It's the last day of the regular season and only one of these teams has something to play for - and they don't seem to care about that something. Although he played well in Canton, the transition didn't go as smoothly as the Cavs must have been preparing for.

"With all the injuries and all the things we've been through, I feel good". "Win, and we still might go home".

PACING THEMSELVES: Indiana understands playoff basketball, and not just because it has been to the post-season six of the last seven years. This team lost two starters and made it to The Finals and was two games away from winning a championship two years ago and most of these same guys are the ones who did that.

Despite their poor play down the stretch, the Cavs and LeBron James claim they will be ready to defend their National Basketball Association title when the play-for-pay rounds begin.