Kevin Love believes playoffs could sway LeBron James' decision


Better protect those chins, Pacers.

Scribbles in my Cleveland Cavaliers notebook as they open the playoffs Sunday at The Q against the Indiana Pacers:1.

Since rejoining the Cavs in 2015, he's 12-0 in Round 1. Would he dump his hometown team and head to Los Angeles after an early playoff exit? During one moment in particular, the Pacers guard crouched so laughingly low on defense - nearly mockingly - that James displayed a smirk in a clip that was made for the basketball Twittersphere.

This will be an exciting first round matchup, as both teams come in looking different but still as successful as last season to find themselves in the playoffs another year.

Stephenson's latest attempt to antagonize James - which also included multiple hard fouls, including one that was called for a technical, comes almost four years after he memorably blew in James' ear during an Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Heat and Pacers.

The regular season is finally out of the way and now we can get down to business. While the season was (once again) a roller coaster, the Cavaliers went 10-3 down the stretch (punting on the final loss) when they were beginning to get comfortable playing together. But we went through a lot in the offseason as well. The team's best shot at success will ultimately be throwing as many bodies as possible at James and hoping it wears him down. It's when James shines most. The road to a potential fourth-straight Finals appearance looks daunting with the Celtics, Raptors and 76ers all standing in the way. The three-time champ is coming off perhaps his finest regular season, and there's no reason to think he won't be at his best in April, May and probably June. Victor Oladipo will look to lead his team to an unlikely upset.

And why not, The Monster will get the benefit of the doubt on ever whistle and he is still the best player in the world. "You could give it (the MVP award) to him every year, but it wouldn't be fair to everyone else".

A little rain, a little snow, a little freezing weather here
As of 9:12 a.m. this morning, the Red Flag Warning was in effect until 8 p.m. for gusty winds and low relative humidity. Johns, Putnam and 14 other counties in north and northeast Florida under a tornado watch Sunday until 6 p.m.

The 2018 playoffs have finally arrived for the Cleveland Cavaliers and what a year it has been.

The Cavaliers traded six players and brought in four new ones at the trade deadline, so the Pacers will have completely different personnel to deal with this go around. I wouldn't be surprise if he puts up two or three triple-doubles this series and has a 40-point game or two. "So we'll see what happens".

"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now", he said. While the defense has been a major question mark all year, the team has been excellent offensively since acquiring Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson, ranking second in the NBA-and first among all playoff teams-with 112.9 points per 100 possessions. With Irving gone, Kevin Love has become Cleveland's second-most important player. "So, I'm the last guy to ask about how you're going to feel the next couple days".

The Bucks will also have the best player in the series, forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and I found past year that teams with this advantage do win somewhat more often than their team stats would suggest.

Cleveland went just 8 of 34 on 3-pointers and missed eight of 20 free throws.

And then there's the Indiana Pacers. He's grateful for a fresh start.