This is a series that I do think will be better than advertised. The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of my sleeper teams that could sneak into the playoffs. I don’t know if they make any noise there, but at least making it there after a few seasons of being in the bottom of the Conference would be a nice way to get away from the memories of what Lebron James was able to do for Cleveland. I think there’s huge talent in Kyrie Irving, a guy that wasn’t too high on. But I’ve seen him in person against the Pacers, and he’s just as good as he’s been built up too. He’s going to be in that discussion for top point guard in the league soon enough.
There’s also some big men in Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejo that could give the Pacers’ bigs some problems. Varejo is a guy that’s just pesky, and does all those little things that you want done. Rebound, score, play defense, and such. He didn’t play in the games against the Pacers last season, so it should be interesting to see what he can do this season. You also have to bring in the Andrew Bynum factor. Him going at Roy Hibbert is another big man battle to watch. There’s little doubt that Bynum, IF his head is straight and we’re not worried about what hair style he’s sporting, is a top center in the league. He’s got plenty of talent to go out there and become a dominant guy. But just like Hibbert had to find that mind set, Bynum needs to be in that same boat. I don’t think if you were talking just a few seasons ago that you would have Hibbert as the better center in this discussion, but right now, you do.
Irving is the guy that brings this team all together. The Pacers will have to defend him as well as they can. Do the Pacers just let Paul George try his hand at it? I think you might have to do that at times. But it could be George Hill getting that call to defend if you just go by position. Hill can struggle with those more explosive guards, so he’ll have to be on top of his game.
As far as the series goes, I can see this going 2-2, and maybe the Pacers will see the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. But I don’t think the Cavaliers end up in that division title contention for a few more years. Still a sexy sleeper pick if you want to call them that as I do believe there’s talent here to make the playoffs in a not so good Eastern Conference. If the Pacers want to become that top team, they should win out all the games against the Cavs. But I think it’s going to competitive, and that could work out well for the Pacers to remember to always be ready to go.