NBA Playoff Odds: Are The Cavs Still The Favorites In The East?

IndyStar's Clifton Brown and Nate Taylor discuss the Indiana Pacers' upcoming playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is alarming that LeBron James did not have usual rest before the playoffs while their defense has been very shaky.

"Through everything that went on with our team, we're in a position where we can do something special still", he said Thursday as Cleveland prepared to face in in the opening round on Saturday. After an 82-game regular season, let the playoffs begin. So it is not like the Cavaliers have blown the Pacers out of the water this season.

The Indiana Pacers are headed to the postseason. "They have carried the load all season".

As is the case with many defending champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers have seemed focus challenged this season.

Atlanta survived a seven-game losing streak in March and goes into the playoffs with wins in four of the past five. Momentum is not exactly on their side heading into the playoffs. People in Cleveland were livid while people in Miami rejoiced, as they thought they had a super team on their hands.

The Pacers put the ball in the hands of All-Star forward Paul George, but the Cavaliers double-teamed him. The last day of the regular season is the final day teams can sign a player and have them eligible for the playoffs.

The Cavs as a team were second in the National Basketball Association with a whopping 1,067 3-pointers made this season - pretty far ahead of the third-ranked Boston Celtics' 985 shots made from behind the arc. While the Pacers are 15th in the league averaging 105.1 points a game.

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Additionally, James has made six straight trips to the NBA Finals, four with the Miami Heat and two with the Cavaliers, and has the internal motivation necessary to push his teammates through the Eastern Conference once more. As Lebron can carry his team through a series single handedly if he needs to. Past year was a coaching change at midseason when Tyronne Lue replaced David Blatt, along with an upheaval of the roster.

The biggest concern for the Pacers besides trying to stop James is the bench play.

If you are a Cleveland fan, the concern is for real. The Pacers will really have trouble with Korver in particular as the sharp shooter as made life miserable for in this season.

On the season, the Cavaliers are averaging 110.3 points, 43.8 rebounds and 22.7 assists per game. Teague leads in assists with 7.8 per game.

It's obviously super unlikely that the Cavaliers will ask anything of Tavares in this postseason, though his size provides a different look than the rest of the Cavaliers big men.

However, that has not stopped sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com from pegging them as the favorites on the odds to win the Eastern Conference for the third year in a row since LeBron James returned to Cleveland at -275 (bet $275 to win $100).

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