Pacers at Cavaliers (Preseason)

Game Preview: Pacers at Cavaliers (Preseason)

Monday, October 8, 2018 at 7:00 PM ET at Quicken Loans Arena
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Last Updated: Oct. 8 at 11:40 AM

Matchup

The Pacers' four-game preseason road trip continues on Monday night, when Indiana travels to Cleveland for a rematch of last year's first-round playoff series with the Cavaliers.

Of course, so much has changed since the Cavs prevailed in that epic seven-game series a little over five months ago. When four-time MVP LeBron James departed Cleveland for Los Angeles in free agency, it altered the course of the entire league.

The Pacers were an upstart team a year ago, stunning the world when they finished just two games back of Cleveland in the Central Division, then pushed the eventual Eastern Conference champions to the brink in the playoffs.

Now with James gone, the Pacers are the favorites to win the division. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, aren't in full-on rebuilding bode, but they're also not serious threats for the conference title for the first time in five years.

Indiana enters Monday's exhibition coming off an overtime loss in Memphis in which none of the Pacers' five starters played. Coach Nate McMillan wanted to get more minutes to his younger players, but there also might have been a little gamesmanship at play since the Blue & Gold open the regular season against the Grizzlies on Oct. 17.

Expect at least some of the starters to return to action against the Cavaliers, but not power forward Thaddeus Young, who has yet to play this preseason due to a bone bruise in his left foot.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - TJ Leaf, C - Myles Turner
Cavaliers: PG - Collin Sexton, SG - Rodney Hood, SF - Dillon Brooks, PF - Sam Dekker, C - Larry Nance Jr.

Injury Report

Pacers: Cory Joseph - out (left knee contusion), Tyreke Evans - questionable (sprained left ankle), Edmond Sumner - questionable (sprained left ankle), Thaddeus Young - out (bruised left foot), C.J. Wilcox - out (torn right Achilles)

Cavaliers: TBD

Last Meeting

April 29, 2018: Another otherworldly performance by LeBron James lifted the Cavaliers to a 105-101 win over the Pacers in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series. Indiana rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit on the road to take the lead midway through the third quarter and briefly silencing the sellout crowd at Quicken Loans Arena, but ultimately came up short.

James finished with 45 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists to lead the Cavaliers to the second round (and eventually the NBA Finals).

Victor Oladipo led Indiana with 30 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and three steals and was excellent throughout the second half, scoring 25 of his points over the final two quarters.

Darren Collison scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half. Thaddeus Young added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, while Domantas Sabonis chipped in 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.

Noteworthy

  • As always, the Pacers and Cavaliers will meet four times in the regular season: in Indianapolis on Dec. 18 and Feb. 9 and in Cleveland on Oct. 27 and Jan. 8.
  • Indiana holds a 97-92 lead in the all-time series with the Cavs, but is just 36-60 in games played in Cleveland.
  • Cavaliers guard Isaiah Taylor was college teammates with Pacers center Myles Turner at the University of Texas.

Tickets

A number of great ticket plans are available for the 2018-19 Pacers season. Secure your seats today to be a part of the next chapter of Pacers basketball. 2018-19 Tickets »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM/AM 1070 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)