Indiana at Cleveland – Game 5
Time: 6 PM CT (TNT)
Spread: CLE -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Cleveland Cavaliers evened the series up 2-2 as both teams split their home matchups. The Cavs now return to Cleveland in hopes of winning a swing game 5 on its home court. NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes favor the Cavaliers by 6-points, as Indiana hopes to recapture the road form it showed in the series opener when it won 98-80 in Cleveland.
The over/under is set at 205.5 points and Games 1 through 4 have had point totals of 178, 197, 182 and 204. Needless to say, we like the ‘under’ in Game 5 given that the series has yet to go over 205 points in any of the first four games.
LeBron James is still very much functioning as a one-man team. Kevin Love had a pathetic five points in Game 4, but James came through with 32 points, seven assists, and 13 rebounds while playing 46 of the 48 minutes in the game. The Cavs did get 18 points from Kyle Korver on just nine field goal attempts, but Cleveland shot just 44 percent from the floor overall. The Cavs did limit its turnovers to just 11 while amassing 17 team assists, but Cleveland was really edged to victory by a strong first half. The Cavs led by 10 at intermission, and it left Indiana trying to crawl back into the game the duration of the second half.
All five Pacers’ starters scored in double-figures, but the starting backcourt of Darren Collison and Victor Oladipo had its struggles, combining to shoot just 10 of 34 from the field, while Game 3 hero Bojan Bogdanovic had an off-night, as well. Bogdanovic scored 30 in Game 3, but he shot just 4 of 13 from the field in Game 4 en route to 10 points and six boards. Domantas Sabonis had an excellent game off the bench, but he was mysteriously out of the game when the Pacers needed his hot hand the most. Sabonis shot 9 of 12 from the floor for 19 points and six rebounds, while finishing with an EVEN point differential in his 25 minutes of play.
Myles Turner brings more of a defensive presence than Sabonis, but each certainly has their respective strong points. Sabonis shoots better around the basket, while Turner is more of the stretch-5 that OKC tried to make Sabonis into as a rookie. Turner was 7 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from three-point range in finishing the game with 17 points, but he managed to snag just two rebounds and did not record a single block. The Pacers have a bit of a dilemma in deciding which of their 5s gets the crunch time minutes, but logic supports the fact it really should have been Sabonis in Game 4. The team was getting much better shots with him on the court, and Turner is prone to stand around too often, awaiting high post passes that often do not arrive.
Part of that blame could go to Collison and Oladipo, but Indiana’s guards had 13 assists and the team finished with 25 assists and just eight turnovers. It was pretty strong offensive performance considering that Indy lost, but James looms as a major factor in crunch time and proved he can win games on his own, with perhaps his worst supporting cast since his 2007 Finals team that was swept by the San Antonio Spurs. James is now older, wiser, and arguably better, but is he enough to overcome a Pacers team that is functioning so well together as a unit? That is kind of the story of this series if it is to be boiled down to a single thrusting line.