NBA Playoffs are back, which means basketball will finally be fun to watch again. Sure, the regular season gives you an exciting finish here or there, but for the most part it's mediocre basketball. Come playoff time that all changes. Now players up the intensity to the next level, defense gets better, fouls get harder, and the moment is just that much bigger. To kick off the playoff we got the Cavs-Pacers in a game that most thought would be a blowout. Turns out it would come down to the final shot. Cavs were leading 109-105 with a minute to play following a Kyrie Irving steal. They were milking the clock when Kyrie passed to JR Smith, JR Smith went to pass back to Kyrie, it went out of bounds, turnover, Pacers ball. Paul George then gets the ball early in the shot clock puts up a deep 3, nails it. Cavs up 109-108 with 40 seconds to go. Now, Lebron runs down the shot clock takes a 3-point jumper to try to put a dagger in game one, misses, rebound Pacers. 20 seconds left, Pacers posses the ball, and they inbound to Paul George. Paul George runs some clock then Lebron James comes over to help JR Smith double team George. George passes off the ball to C.J. Miles as time is winding down, Miles takes the shot, it hits front rim, Cavs win.
After the game Lebron spoke about the final play and by design that was exactly what the Cavs wanted to happen. Anyone other than Paul George can take that shot and if they hit it you can't be upset with the result because that's what the plan was. If Paul George hits that shot it's devastating because you know he's so capable of doing it and you know that's who's most likely going to take it, so if you allow him to get the open look it's almost like beating yourself. Also, Miles didn't have a very good look at the basket, they mad him take a contested shot on the perimeter, ideal for that situation. Anything outside of Paul George or an easy shot inside, I'm sure the Cavs were fine with. The Cavs couldn't have done a better job closing out the game defensively on that play.
As for the Pacers, that final offensive possession was pathetic. Paul George did the right thing giving up the ball, that's the smart decision to make when being double teamed. Lebron eluded to this in his post game press conference saying when a double team occurs it turns to a 4 on 3, so anyone would give the ball up in that situation. However, Paul George said he told C.J. Miles that he has to be one to take that shot at the end of the game. Very interesting, so Paul George thinks him taking a shot while double teamed is better than an open look. I'm not saying C.J. Miles took a good shot at the end of the game, but even if it was a good look and Miles missed or anyone that takes the final shot before George misses, then he's going to cry about not getting the last shot. Obviously you ideally want your superstar player to take the final shot, but if the other team is forcing the ball away from him someone else has to take it. If you have a good look take it and if George wanted the ball so badly he should've busted his ass to get open after passing it off instead of standing in the same spot. Nonsense from Paul George, he should've been more assertive, and instead he throws his teammate under the bus. No wonder why the Pacers are going to get swept this series. I'm guessing this'll be the closest game of the series and that it might even be Paul George's final playoff series playing for Indiana. What a disaster. S/O Lance Stephenson for balling out and doing his thing, though.