The 2017-2018 season for Cleveland has been a unique one, to say the least. The team itself has been anything but consistent over the 82 game stretch and not much has changed in the postseason. LeBron James and the Cavs failed to capitalize on a 17-point lead and dropped Game three to the Pacers. This tough loss has set the Cavs back a couple of steps and pushed the Pacers one stride closer to the second round of the playoffs. With this loss, it's easy to say that LeBron and the Cavs are having trouble finding their rhythm, but is this problem a season-ending issue for LeBron James and the Cavs, or is the solution right around the corner?

What went wrong in Game Three?

Although their first playoff loss was full of errors, not much can be said negatively about the Cavaliers first half start. It has often been stated you can predict the outcome of a game by just watching the first few possessions. Judging by that rule, Cleveland looked to be in control. The Cavs forced six first-quarter turnovers and LeBron's facilitation and unselfishness allowed George Hill and Kevin Love to get involved early.

Unlike game two, the weight of consistently having to score seemed to be lifted off Lebron's shoulders. At the half, the Cleveland Cavaliers lead by 17 and held thePacerss to just 40 points. At this point, it seemed the Game one loss at home was just a fluke and Cleveland had once again found a way to break down the Pacers.

Sadly for the Cavs, the second half of Game three was a different story. The Pacers came out of the locker room with a newly kindled fire that was non-existent in the first half. Indiana limited the Cavs to an embarrassing 12 points in the third quarter while adding 23 of their own. If that wasn't concerning enough, Cleveland shot just 26 percent from the field and only made one three-point shot in 10 attempts.

The Pacers had all of the momentum going into the fourth-quarter. Even with LeBron James sinking back-to-back triples late game to get the Cavs within a point, it wasn't enough to silence the Pacers. The final possession consisted of a long-range three-pointer by J.R Smith to win the game and it failed to connect. LeBron and the Cavs walked off Indiana's court disgusted.

Game Four

Cleveland will look to bounce back from a tough Game three loss with a victory on Sunday night. Without question, this is a must-win for the Cavs as falling down three to one is not an option. The victory starts, believe it or not, on the offensive end. The biggest flaw in Cleveland's roster all year has been their lack of defensive effort, but in this series, the Cavs did a decent job in limiting the Pacers offense. Indiana has not exceeded 100 points this entire series. This is a much-improved asset that Cleveland needs if its goal of reaching the NBA finals is still possible. However, the Cavs regular season stats have them at 110.9 PPG (Points Per Game) and their total PPG for the series are shown below:

  • Game one - 80
  • Game two -100
  • Game three - 90.

This is a team that can score but throughout these first three games, they were underachieving.

The solution to advance to the ECSF is simple. Continue the solid defensive effort, and find a way to break down Indiana's defense. This will be no easy task especially with the possible injury to George Hill which may cause him to miss game four. Cleveland is once again going to have to prove they can answer loudly even though they are short handed.

Game four will take place on Sunday night in Indiana.