2017 NBA Playoffs
2017 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com


Apr 13, 2017 7:36 PM ET


It's time to find out if the Cleveland Cavaliers can keep their foot on the pedal as their championship defense begins in earnest.

The Cavs had moments of looking like a title contender in the regular season, but they were usually fleeting. And they wobbled into the postseason with a 12-15 record after the All-Star break.

This has not been a team that has needed home-court advantage in the past, and LeBron James has made it to the Finals as the 2 seed five times. But the playoffs will punish bad defense and inconsistency.

Of course, there haven't been many teams more inconsistent than the Indiana Pacers. After an up-and-down second half of the season, the Pacers won five straight games to close the season and clinch their sixth playoff berth in the last seven years. But they head into the postseason as an average team on both ends of the floor.

It will be the fourth time that James and Paul George have met in the playoffs. James and the Cavs don't need to be at their absolute best to advance to the quarterfinals, but all eyes will be on that 22nd-ranked defense on Saturday, because it's time to push it into another gear.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 2-7 series in the East, with links to let you dive in and explore more.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)

Pace: 98.4 (16)
OffRtg: 110.9 (3)
DefRtg: 108.0 (22)
NetRtg: +2.9 (8)

Regular season:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Indiana:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Cavs notes:

Indiana Pacers (42-40)

Pace: 98.1 (18)
OffRtg: 106.2 (15)
DefRtg: 106.3 (16)
NetRtg: -0.1 (16)

Regular season:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Cleveland:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups

Pacers notes:

  • Had an aggregate bench NetRtg of minus-4.6, the third worst mark in the league and the worst among playoff teams. They outscored their opponents by 4.4 points per 100 possessions in 2,178 minutes with both Paul George and Myles Turner on the floor, but were outscored by 3.9 points per 100 possessions in 874 with only one of the two on the floor and by 7.4 points per 100 possessions in 917 minutes with neither on the floor.
  • Only 56 percent of their shots came from the restricted area or 3-point range, the second lowest rate in the league and the lowest among playoff teams. Only Detroit (53 percent) took a lower percentage of its shots from the restricted area or 3-point range.
  • According to SportVU, George passed the ball only 44 percent of the time after using a ball screen, the second lowest rate (only Andrew Wiggins had a lower one) among 89 players who used at least 300 ball screens.. George had the highest turnover rate (8.6 percent), but also the third highest drawn-foul rate (8.8 percent) among that group.

The matchup

Season series:Cavs won 3-1 (2-0 in Cleveland)
Nov. 15 @ IND - Pacers 103, Cavs 93
Feb. 8 @ IND - Cavs 132, Pacers 117
Feb. 15 @ CLE - Cavs 113, Pacers 104
Apr. 2 @ CLE - Cavs 135, Pacers 130 (OT)

Pace: 95.1
CLE OffRtg: 117.6 (4th vs. IND)
IND OffRtg: 114.0 (7th vs. CLE)

Matchup notes:

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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