The Cleveland Cavaliers got through the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs with ease from the point of view that matters the most: they demolished the Indiana Pacers 4-0 in terms of games won and lost. However, how hard would it be to imagine the series against Indiana going differently? Noting games one and three in particular, the Cavs weren't totally dominant in the series despite being a No. 2 seed against a No. 7 seed.

Game one was a squeaker

In game one, NBA basketball fans saw the closest contest of the series. The Cavaliers hosted the game, but they were not convincing at home. The game came down to the final seconds where Indiana trailed by one point -- with possession.

They were unable to get the ball to Paul George for a clear shot and it's here that Indiana really failed as a playoff team. The Pacers did not have a second superstar that could be relied on in the clutch. As Indiana's dying shot missed, so did their best chance to inject some optimism into the first-round series.

Cavs could face Toronto

The Cavaliers will next face either the Toronto Raptors or the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors are the favorites to win their first-round series at this point. Despite some early drama in that series, they've won two straight off of Milwaukee for a 3-2 series lead. Unlike Indiana, the Raptors aren't a team where you can sell-out on covering just one guy as the Cavs did against Paul George at the end of Game 1.

The Raptors have DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry as a one-two punch. Lowry has yet to play his best consistently in the playoffs, but he doesn't seem far off. Serge Ibaka isn't quite a star player by league standards, but there's certainly much more for Cleveland to think about than just one player that can hurt them.

In Game 3 of their first-round series against the Cavs, the Pacers also blew a huge lead. It was this result that effectively took them out of the series. Few teams that are in the 2nd round will lose a huge lead when playing at home and the Pacers clearly weren't up to the task. However, it would not have taken much for the series to be 2-2 after four games.

One shot in Game 1 and a stronger stretch of play at some points in the 2nd half of Game 3 and the series could have been even after four.

Admittedly, sometimes the difference between an amazing team and a weak one is pretty thin: the strong teams seem to always have an answer in the clutch. However, the Cavs did go 12-15 after the All-Star break in the regular season. They might have dodged a bullet in the first round when it came to having to play a long series. It's not clear who they will face in the second round or the conference finals, should they make them, however, I don't think it will be a team that will be as lenient as the Pacers were. Certainly a draw through Toronto and Boston to the NBA finals will put Cleveland to the test.

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