Is Someone Going To Tell LeBron James And The Cavaliers That The Playoffs Started?

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has to be regretting throwing shade Victor Oladipo’s way before the 2017-18 season.

On Sunday night, the fifth-year pro continued to prove doubters so insanely wrong by completely dominating a game that featured LeBron James for a road win in Game 1 of the Indiana Pacers’ first-round series with Cleveland.

Those opining during the final months of the regular season that the Cavs’ relatively rough year — which landed them with the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs — would be forgotten once the postseason rolled around were left wanting, as Cleveland didn’t flip a proverbial switch and become a team that looked NBA Finals-bound.

Instead, the Cavs, who posted the second-worst defensive rating in the NBA this season according to Basketball Reference, looked closer to prepared to flip burgers than prepared to participate in a playoff game.

And that includes LeBron — here he is taking his sweet time getting back on defense so he can complain about getting swatted cleanly by Domantas Sabonis, allowing a wide-open path for a mammoth dunk for famed LeBron irritant Lance Stephenson.

LeBron’s deciding against getting back on defense wasn’t just a one-time incident, either, though on this occasion things happened to work out.

And again.

Players not named LeBron, predictably, were even worse, letting the likes of Bojan Bogdanovic stroll to the hoop with ease.

Yeah, George Hill, just let Oladipo casually step into an open three-pointer, good strategy.

Thanks in part to their defense’s ode to warm butter, the Cavs got punked by a guy in his first year as the star of his own team — Oladipo dropped a game-high 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting to go with six boards, four assists, four steals, and a block in the 98-80 blowout victory.

This just a regular season after Gilbert said Indiana “could’ve done better than it did” in dealing Paul George, who netted the Oladipo and Sabonis for the Pacers in a trade this summer.