LeBron James says the Cavs have a "good chance" to repeat

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost four straight to get to this moment. This was the same game LeBron James and Tristan Thompson were seen barking at each other in a team huddle over some issue regarding the coverage of Paul George.

The Pacers' season had peaks and valleys but they wrapped it up as average as can be. "If I do that, we've got a good chance".

Leaning against a padded wall in Cleveland's practice facility, James smiled sheepishly. In terms of first-round series prices, the Atlanta Hawks (+175) do stand a decent chance of knocking out John Wall and the Washington Wizards (-205), since Washington might struggle to find a defensive matchup for Hawks big man Dwight Howard.

Defending champs Cleveland Cavaliers will have a rough road to the finals, let alone make it through the playoffs, according to early predictions. Just to put that fact in some greater perspective for you, in the 1,811 days since James last lost a game in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, he has won three titles, Jeremy Lin has been on 5 National Basketball Association teams, and the Cubs won a World Series.

James doesn't know how to be anything but confident.

Behind Rivers, the Clippers went 5-0 in April to finish as the NBA's only undefeated team for the month and extend their regular-season-ending winning streak to seven games.

They are defending champions in name only. One point. So, you could say the season series was a decent one too.

If it's true that adversity builds character, the Cavs might be a lot are stronger than they appear. It starts with our opponent in two days.

No matter the offensive talent, playing such porous defense will not lead to good postseason results. "That's all you can ask for".

The Cavs (51-30) host the Toronto Raptors in the season finale Wednesday night and will be either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed heading into the playoffs this weekend. Coach Brad Stevens even said "Cleveland is the team to beat...they deserve that". So for your sake, I hope that fabled "switch" people keep expecting the Cavaliers to flip is real. He will be vital for opening up driving lanes for LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Like James, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue admires George's willpower and is thrilled he's back to being himself and in the playoffs.

In Game 1, the Pacers will likely roll with the same starting lineup they used down the stretch - Jeff Teague at point guard, Monta Ellis at shooting guard, Paul George at small forward, Thad Young at power forward and Myles Turner at center.

But LeBron's 32 years old.

Saturday, April 15: IN at Cleveland, 3 p.m.

"The present is the only thing that matters", he said. Me preparing this group, me getting this group locked in and understanding what our opportunity is, I mean it is what it is. "But when things don't go your way and adversity hits, how can you get back to the point that nobody thinks you can get back to?"

"So we have to be very determined but we have to be very smart about our game plan and how we execute".

Soon after the regular season ended, the Cavs engaged in a team dinner aimed at boosting morale and fostering camaraderie. At the end of the day I can't have my mind focused on the past right now. I just told you I feel great.

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