Kevin Love says series against the Pacers will be a 'physical battle'

The Cavs didn't exactly end the season the way they had hoped, as they went from blowing out the Boston Celtics on the road to blowing back-to-back games against the Atlanta Hawks in the strangest ways imaginable. "We'll see how it goes".

The NBA playoffs officially begin when the Pacers and Cavaliers tip off on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on ABC.

They got the Warriors in the first round.

It's also noteworthy that two MVP frontrunners will collide in the first round: Rockets guard James Harden and Thunder point guard - and triple-double machine - Russell Westbrook.

The Cavaliers stumbled into the playoffs after an erratic finale to the regular season which saw them pipped for the number one ranking in the Eastern Conference by the Boston Celtics. And all James needs to do is some unusual animating dance, a few breaths into his hands and the regular season narrative gets left behind while he tries to block out the sun one more time. The Warriors just lost their first game in nearly a month on Monday to the Utah Jazz. It's no secret that Steph struggles on the defensive end at times.

As much as the Warriors sometimes seem like they're in his head, LeBron is obviously in theirs, too, as largely evidenced by Draymond Green's flagrant tap in Game 4 of last year's final. and LeBron's epic performances in the three closing games. It's just hard to reconcile the team from last June or even December, with the team that enters the postseason in 2017. Still, the Celtics were gifted the No. 1 seed in the East by the Cavaliers and they have not been the pillar of consistency with a 4-4 stretch in early March, then losing 3-of-5 in late March and early April.

Going back to one of my first points, Gallinari missed the final two games of the season because of rest. The Warriors of past year returned. It's "Golden: The Miraculous Rise Of Steph Curry". Over the last six games PG has averaged 33 points per contest including 43 in the Pacers last meeting with Cleveland. It makes some questions pop into our minds. Still, this was a team that had Richard Jefferson out of retirement and dunking on Kevin Durant on Christmas Day. It nearly seems insane to ask. The best player has always been the best team player. Team chemistry is huge in any sport.

In the history of the NBA Playoffs, we've seen teams from the same division meet each other quite often.

The Cavs have a chance to win a championship because they have James, and with James, all is possible.

Cleveland put up another incredible season though it came with a lot of tax.

Indeed, when the Cavaliers are clicking, there aren't many teams that can stop them. Most NBA fans are against superteams. You know who they are.

James has been part of 131 wins so far in his playoff career, tied with San Antonio's Tony Parker for the most among active players. "We know he's going to score his points".

Luckily for Cleveland, James does not play nonsense when it comes to this time of year. This is crucial for an opponent of Golden State. If San Antonio reaches the Western Conference Finals, there is a good chance Golden State will be there waiting for them. Think of it this way: James' six year old win streak of Eastern Conference Championships would be in first grade.

Game one takes place in Houston on Sunday. Are the Cavs in jeopardy of not getting to the National Basketball Association finals? "So, with all the injuries, and all the things we've been through, and new pieces, I feel good".

"We're chasing something - we're not protecting anything this year", Curry said. The Cavaliers are bored.

So, yes, most likely the Cavaliers will dispatch the Pacers in four or five games. And each of them are heavy favorites to make it to the NBA Finals again. If Thompson can neutralize the sophomore center on the offensive glass, Cleveland will have a much easier time getting out in transition, an area where they thrive in. Cleveland conceded the top spot in the East by resting LeBron James and Kyrie Irving the final two games of the season, which means it's Finals or bust to justify the move. He was the best player on the court for seven games, clearly outplaying All-Stars such as DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.

Never bet against LeBron James ... It's not about to change this season. "You think you are gonna be in those playoff battles, playing alongside those guys forever". This Spurs team may not be at the level it has been in the past, but you can not count out Kawhi Leonard and Greg Popovich. But Gary Wood estimates he spent about $1,500 to watch what essentially was the Canton Charge, Cleveland's D-League team, get boat-raced by the Clippers, who played their regulars. It will clearly be a tall mountain to climb for the Cavs. The All-Star forward won Player of the Month for April by averaging an NBA-high 32.8 points per game. We're about to get some.