The Cleveland Cavaliers Played 24 Good Minutes of Playoff Basketball and Everyone Should be Terrified


If this quote isn’t from last night, it might as well be. The Cavaliers had an incredible comeback and beat the Pacers 70-40 in the second half of Game 3. Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving watched the fourth quarter from the bench. The Cavaliers’ depth showed up. There was a lot to get excited about, but still…

The Cavaliers gave up 74 points in the first half. And it wasn’t like the Pacers had one huge, historical quarter. They had two very big 37-point quarters in a row. That’s not playoff basketball. Well, at least it’s not good playoff basketball.

So did the Cavs ascend to a higher, more championship-y level of basketball? Or did the Pacers just collapse because they’re a 42-win team playing Lance Stephenson extended minutes? It’s probably a little of both, but it’s mostly just because LeBron James.

Yes, that’s where that paragraph was supposed to end.

LeBron shot 51% from the field, 50% from three and 50% from the free-throw line. The poor free-throw shooting is understandable because of how much energy he had to use on the 41 points (35-non free throw points), 13 rebounds, 12 assists and 2 blocks. (LeBron has six of the 12 35-point triple-doubles in NBA playoff history on Basketball-Reference.) It was an all-time performance from an all-time player. LeBron is playoff basketball.

The Cavs should finish the sweep of the hapless Pacers on Sunday. And they should be able to get past the upstart Bucks or currently shook, veteran Raptors and then the… Bulls? No, the Wizards will definitely be waiting in the Eastern Conference Finals. And yeah, the Cavs should be able to beat the Wizards, but the Warriors will be waiting in the Finals and they’ll be heavy favorites. Just like the last two years. So I guess everything really is fine and the Cavs are playing playoff basketball.