Pacers beat Hawks to clinch playoff spot

"I think we're playing good basketball and I think we can play better".

He rejoined the Pacers on March 30 and was pivotal in them going 5-1 to make the playoffs.

The team needed a miracle, and that's what they got.

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).

The Cavs took the season series from the Pacers, 3-1. The well-liked Jones also brings some accountability.

Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers shoots the ball against the Atlanta Hawks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on April 12, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In layman's terms: Don't give George, C.J. Miles, Jeff Teague or even Myles Turner open looks.

Elsewhere, Jimmy Butler scored a team-high 25 points and the Chicago Bulls clinched a playoff berth with a 112-73 victory over the hapless Brooklyn Nets. "We call him the Cavs killer". We've been through more, we're more hardened and seasoned than we were at this time a year ago. When Wednesday's schedule began the Cavaliers were allowing opponents an average of 107.3 points per game, 20th in the league.

Basically what I'm getting at is that the Cavs have been slacking since the All Star break and have been counting down the days to playoff season.

"We have to be very aware of him", Lue said. "It's just going to be a bigger challenge for us this year". James and Paul George matched either shot for shot.

The Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 51-31 record, good enough to win their third straight Central Division Championship by nine games over the Milwaukee Bucks and earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. It had been more than a month since the Cavs gathered at their facility at Cleveland Clinic Courts for a team workout with everyone healthy.

LeBron James scored 32 points and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, looking to flip the switch after a shaky regular season, began the National Basketball Association playoffs by escaping with a 109-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Game 1. "And if someone like Tristan does great in the playoffs he can be traded easier and Cleveland could still keep their core guys of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving and have a super team for years to come", our insider adds. "We're hoping to create the same sort of feeling". But right now, we can't focus on them. "I think the East has gotten better". IN was led by Reggie Miller while the Cavs were led by Shawn Kemp.

The four-time league MVP and ten-time All-NBA First Team selection emphasized, "If it's making sacrifices for yourself, or for the benefit of the team, taking away things that you love to do but feel like you have to be committed more to the team, so be it".

Are the Cavaliers' woes serious or just a championship hangover to start the playoffs?

Ersan Ilyasova scored 15 points and Jose Calderon had 12 on a night the Hawks rested five of their top six players.