Cho: NBA Loving Playoff Parity; Cavs/Pacers Will Go Seven

The first round of the NBA playoffs has offered far more drama than usual

Taz and the Moose
April 23, 2018 - 11:41 am

USA Today Images

Categories: 

If you take a look around the NBA playoffs, you’ll notice that many of the series are as close as they can be. That’s rare, especially for the first round.

No. 1 Toronto and No. 8 Washington are tied at 2-2, No. 4 Cleveland and No. 5 Indiana are tied at 2-2, No. 8 Minnesota pulled within 2-1 of No. 1 Houston, and No. 5 Utah leads Oklahoma City 2-1, among other tightly contested series.

The NBA has to be loving this.

“Oh yeah, I think it just goes toward the whole parity throughout the league,” former Hornets GM Rich Cho said on Taz & The Moose. “The West, how tight the standings were up until the end, and I think the East is wide open, too. It’s definitely been fun to watch from a fan standpoint.”

The Raptors had the Cavs on the ropes Sunday night, but Cleveland hung on for a 104-100 win to even the series.

“I think it’ll go seven,” Cho said. “Indy had their chances last night, but Kyle Korver and his two late threes were huge. He hit the first one from the corner – tough shot – and put them up one, and he hit a second one (to) put them up four. Some of their role players have been giving them good minutes.”

That includes Jeff Green, who had eight points, four rebounds and four assists in Game 4. Seven Pacers scored double figures, but LeBron James was once again the best player on the floor, finishing with 32 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks.

“I think this will go seven games,” Cho reiterated. “They’re going to need a bigger game from Victor (Oladipo) than he had this last game, but Indy is playing with a lot of confidence. They played well against them in the regular season, and I know they probably feel like they let one slip by last night, but they’re also going to have to attack the basket, I think, a lot more and get to the free-throw line. They only went to the line 13 times last night compared to 26 for Cleveland.”

Indiana was outscored 22-8 at the free-throw line Sunday.

Oladipo has averaged 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.5 steals in the Pacers’ two wins and 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in their two losses. As he goes, so go the Pacers.

Game 5 is Wednesday in Cleveland at 7 p.m. ET. The series shifts back to Indianapolis for Game 6 on Friday.