2018 NBA Playoffs: Pacers-Cavaliers Round 1 Schedule

Pacers, Nate McMillan, NBA Coaches, 2018 NBA Playoffs

For the second consecutive postseason, the Pacers meet the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round.

LeBron-led teams have gone 28-2 in Round 1, including 21 consecutive victories. That’s an NBA record. His team has never lost in the first round, nor have they ever lost their first game to begin the postseason.

[Pacers wearing gold all series long]

Last April, the 42-40 Pacers were swept despite being competitive in every game. Among the challenges for that team was mental toughness and finishing games. They lost by an average of four points.

“I think we just have a little bit more of a spark, a little bit more of an edge to us than we had last year,” said third-year center Myles Turner.

The Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship, but Kevin Love is the only key contributor still with the team. And while JR Smith and Tristan Thompson are on Cleveland’s roster, their impact on the court has decreased.

Pacers, St. Vincent Center

Pacers end practice by shooting free throws.

The Pacers finished 48-34, six more wins than the year before. There’s a different vibe with this bunch, and certainly better chemistry. They’re excited to show the world their brand of basketball.

“I think they’re more well-balanced,” LeBron James told reporters Saturday. “It starts with the head of the snake, obviously, in Oladipo. Darren Collison leading the league in three-point percentage, Myles Turner coming back I think he’s been playing some good ball as of late.

“(Bojan) Bogdanovic is the wild card.”

[Pacers postseason runs through LeBron-led Cavaliers, again]

And because it’s against LeBron, all games will be broadcast by ESPN/ABC or TNT. The Pacers appeared on national TV just once this season, Dec. 13 for Paul George’s return to Indy.

“This is a big opportunity for us to really show some things,” said Darren Collison. “We’re never on national television a lot. To be on national television and show everybody how we normally play Pacers basketball is going to be fun.”

Despite having two days (and about 72 hours) between Games 1 and 2, the Pacers will remain in Cleveland and catch the short flight home.

“We’re going to go there and we’re going to bunker down. That’s a business trip,” coach McMillan said.

Round 1 Schedule:

  • Game 1, Cleveland: Sunday, April 15 at 3:30 pm
    • ABC: Mike Breen (play-by-play), Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson (analysts), Lisa Salters (sideline)
    • ESPN Radio: Adam Amin (play-by-play), P.J. Carlesimo (analyst)
    • Officials: Zach Zarba, Bennie Adams, John Gobel, Nick Buchert (alternate).
  • Game 2, Cleveland: Wednesday, April 18 at 7:00 pm
    • FSI
    • TNT: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst), Allie LaForce (sideline)
    • ESPN Radio: Adam Amin (play-by-play), P.J. Carlesimo (analyst)
    • Officials: Ed Malloy, David Guthrie, Eric Lewis, Dedric Taylor (alternate).
  • Game 3, Indianapolis: Friday, April 20 at 7:00 pm
    • FSI
    • ESPN: Mike Breen (play-by-play), Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson (analysts), Lisa Salters (sideline)
    • ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, Jon Barry
  • Game 4, Indianapolis: Sunday, April 22 at 8:30 pm
    • FSI
    • TNT: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst), Allie LaForce (sideline)
  • Game 5, Cleveland: Wednesday, April 25 (TBD, but likely 7:00 pm)
    • FSI
    • TNT
  • **Game 6, Indianapolis: Friday, April 27 TBD
    • TBD
  • **Game 7, Cleveland: Sunday, April 29 TBD
    • TBD

**if necessary

Of Note: Viewership of Pacers games on FOX Sports Indiana was up 18 percent last season, registering a 3.5 household rating.

Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, 2018 NBA Playoffs

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