Pacers draw swords with Cavaliers in division matchup


In another clash of Central Division enemies, the Indiana Pacers lock up with the Cavaliers today in Cleveland looking for their fourth straight win.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (3-3) v. Cleveland Cavaliers (5-1)
WHEN: Today, 3:30 pm ET / 2:30 pm CT
WHERE: Quicken Loans Arena (Cleveland, OH)

TV: Fox Sports Indiana
RADIO: 1070 the Fan
STREAM: Fox Sports Go and on the FSGO app

The Pacers
Coming in with high hopes after picking up their third straight win, Indiana moves ahead to face Cleveland as the Central Division opponents meet for the first time this season.

Indiana will be without Rodney Stuckey after the veteran suffered a sprained ankle against the Heat, and C.J. Miles is also questionable. The matchup everyone is waiting for, though, is Paul George against LeBron James. The rising star meets the risen star again with the hope being that the two will play with the same kind of intensity and voracity that they did when sporting Heat and Pacers uniforms respectively.

The Pacers will also have to stretch the floor a little more with Kevin Love‘s ability to hit from beyond the arc and inside the post, but LeBron already poses that threat so further adjustments are required.

The Cavaliers
One of the strongest teams in the NBA at 5-1, the Cavs roll in on a five-game winning streak but are again with Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, and J.R. Smith due to injury. Cleveland knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers the same night as Indiana outlasted Miami, but also had a days rest before returning home to Quicken Loans Arena.

No surprise here, James leads the team in scoring at 23.7 points per, and Love is growing into a more useful role but still averages over 16 points per game. As a team, Cleveland is middle-of-the-pack in scoring averages but shoot the ball better than most others in the league so forcing outside shot selection will be a key for Indiana.

Next: Pacers beat Heat in style for third straight

Though the rivalry hasn’t had the sting of Pacers-Heat type games with LeBron meeting the Cavaliers, and it only benefits Cleveland that it is a home game for James and the gang, but expect a full throttle meeting today despite injury concerns on both ends.