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Halftime Impressions: Cavaliers let Pacers back before half in Game 2

The Cavaliers had the Pacers where they wanted them, but Indy stormed back to end the second quarter.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers lead the Pacers 63-58 at the half, after the Pacers were able to close a 13-point deficit with about five minutes to go in the half. Paul George leads the Pacers with 18 points, while LeBron has already dropped 17 on 7-10 shooting for the Cavaliers. Let’s take a look at how the first half played out.

What We’ve Seen So Far

  • Kevin Love’s shot, at least for this half, has returned to him. He’s 3-3 from distance and 4-4 overall so far with 13 points and seven boards. He only had four boards in the entirety of Game 1, so that’s a welcome change for the Cavaliers.
  • The bench, after mostly being locked down in Game 1 due to switch heavy tactics by the Pacers came out firing, with Deron Williams knocking down his first three from long distance. The bench had 14 points in the first half after only 23 in Game 1.
  • When LeBron James is engaged and flanked by four shooters, the Pacers have no chance. Paul George is their only lockdown defender, as Lance Stephenson doesn’t really have the bulk to deal with him. When the defense collapsed on LeBron, he made them pay. When they didn’t, this happened.
  • The Pacers have mostly survived in this game with their 14 points off of 11 Cavaliers turnovers. LeBon in particular has been a culprit, with six turnovers of his own.
  • Paul George is sort of a problem for this team to defend. He’s excellent coming off screens, a weakness for this team when they’re not focused, and is unbelievably explosive when he attacks the basket. He had 18 points at the half and kept Indy within striking distance.
  • This is another game where there’s not been enough defense on either end. Both teams shot-making his been great, but there hasn’t really been enough consistency.
  • Thaddeus Young has done a really nice job defending LeBron in isolation, not unlike Paul Millsap in years past. The Cavaliers need to be smarter about how they attack power forwards in these spots. Thaddeus Young is very used to guarding the roll man in the pick and roll, but as a power forward, he rarely is guarding ball-handlers in the pick and roll. The team should do a better job of taking him out of his comfort zone and forcing him to do something foreign to him on the defensive end.