CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Pacers are looking ahead to game two with the Cavaliers, but some are still looking back.
With a chance to win game one, C.J. Miles took the final shot and not Paul George. Miles missed and Indiana fell, 109-108.
“Being the leader of this team, a lot of me wants the last shot and wants the game to be decided by me,” said George before the team practiced in Cleveland Sunday afternoon. “But at the same time, I have to have trust in my teammates. C.J. has been in that position this season where I’ve needed him to make a big shot. I’ve kicked it to him and he’s made the big shot.”
“I’m one of the best shooters in our league,” Miles said. “That’s proven. I’ve been doing it all year. I’ve made that shot millions of times. If I get another chance in that situation, I’m going to be aggressive, get the shot and I’m going to make it next time. In that situation, I did what I was supposed to do.”
Between games one and two, it was pointed out to George that he is 0-for-15 in his career when taking a shot in the final 20 seconds for the win or to put the team ahead. That was news to George.
“I could easily go and make my next 15,” said George. “I don’t care about that stat. I’m confident to take that shot regardless of what that stat is. That really doesn’t matter to me. If I get that shot, I’m confident I’m going to knock it down.”
In their past two games in Cleveland, the Pacers have proven they can compete with the world champion Cavs, but just competing is not what head coach Nate McMillan has in mind.
“The plan is not to be right there,” McMillan said. “The plan is to win the game. We have to establish our defense right from the start. You can’t give up 66 points to Cleveland and expect to win the game.”
They say a series doesn’t begin in the NBA Playoffs until the road team steals one and that’s what’s facing the Pacers in game two.
They haven’t beaten the Cavaliers all season with LeBron James in the Cleveland line-up and James is 11-0 in first round playoff series, so a lot of history is going against the Pacers.
They’ll give it another shot Monday night at 7:00 p.m.