Victor Oladipo: Under-the-radar Pacers have been good all season

11:28 PM ET

CLEVELAND — Last summer, Cleveland Cavaliers owners Dan Gilbert declared, unsolicited, that Indiana “could’ve finished improved than it did” in a trade that sent Paul George to a Oklahoma City Thunder in sell for a package that enclosed Victor Oladipo.

The acknowledgement was expected encouraged by a fact that a Cavs believed they had a George-for-Kevin Love barter in place before a Pacers pulled off their warn trade with a Thunder.

Oladipo was a best actor on a justice Sunday, when Indiana kick Cleveland 98-80 to go adult 1-0 in their first-round series. He scored a game-high 32 points on 11-for-19 sharpened (6-for-9 from 3) and combined 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in a wire-to-wire victory.

Gilbert’s acknowledgement got behind to Oladipo, who pronounced Sunday that he was “aware of it.”

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  • “You could contend it combined fuel to a fire, we theory we could say,” Oladipo pronounced after Game 1. “But that was so prolonged ago. It came adult recently, obviously, since we were personification a Cavs in a series, though I’m wakeful of what he said. Can’t control his opinion. All I’m focused on is myself and apropos a best Victor Oladipo possible.”

    Oladipo sealed a diversion with 10 points on 4-for-5 sharpened in a fourth quarter, outplaying LeBron James, who had only 4 points on 1-for-3 sharpened in a final frame.

    Sunday remarkable only a second nationally televised diversion for a Pacers all season, with a other entrance when George done his lapse to Indiana with a Thunder. Oladipo positively done a Pacers value examination in Game 1.

    “We’ve been personification like this all year,” he said. “Been personification tough on both ends all year. It only hasn’t been magnified. So it’s a playoffs now, we’ve been doing this all year. Now everybody sees, so it’s like, it’s kind of intolerable to everybody, we theory we could say. But we’ve been personification hard. We’ve been personification a butts off on both ends of a building all year.

    “We’re entirely wakeful of LeBron. We’re entirely wakeful of his team, and we comprehend it’s not going to be easy, though that doesn’t meant we’re only going to come in here and only fold. We formulation on winning. That’s because we came to this series. That’s because we came to play this diversion is to win, not only to come here and only be OK. That’s what we’re focused on: holding it one diversion during a time, perplexing to win each game.”

    Cavs manager Tyronn Lue, who pronounced before a array that he designed to concentration his defensive schemes on holding divided a Pacers’ biggest strength, pronounced Cleveland was effective in executing a devise opposite Oladipo, notwithstanding his 32-point night.

    “We did, as distant as in a pick-and-roll game,” Lue said. “I suspicion he harm us catch-and-shoot, off a ball, relaxing, not being aware. we have to go behind and demeanour during it. When he did harm us a integrate times, we switched. He done a integrate of 3s, that is going to happen. You’re going to give adult something. As distant as a blitz, we suspicion we did a good pursuit of removing into him. We got a integrate of steals early, that we didn’t modify on, though for a many part, defensively, we were flattering good.”

    The Pacers, led by Oladipo, of course, were better.

    “I suspicion he played with a lot of confidence. we suspicion he done good decisions out there on a floor,” Indiana manager Nate McMillan pronounced of his star guard. “We talked about some of a things that Cleveland would do. we suspicion he famous those and did a good pursuit of attacking. He’s been a man who has combined a lot of things for us on both ends of a floor.”

    McMillan, it should be noted, never presented Gilbert’s comments to a Pacers to try to hype them adult for a series, though he concurred a impact they competence have had as they found their approach behind to his organisation on their own.

    “The diversion itself, personification a diversion a right way, is what we use as motivation,” McMillan said. “Now, I’m certain a guys have listened that. I’m certain Victor, somebody competence have told him that here in a final integrate days. But we haven’t used that form of information as circular house material. For us, it’s about going out and giving all we have personification a diversion a right way, personification a diversion together. That has been a proclivity from this group.”

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