Ten months later, both George and Oladipo are thriving for their respective teams, helping them secure Game 1 wins in the playoffs.
But you wouldn't have known it from the Pacers' demeanor as they fielded questions from the media on Monday.
The Celtics took their first step toward shattering the belief they can't win without their biggest stars. Many assumed LeBron would find his second-gear and tear through the early rounds of the playoffs per usual.
Ultimately, this performance by the Cavs makes some question whether or not they should be anxious about the series.
"He has to be aggressive and set the tone early", Lue said. "There's some things we can improve on". A lot has changed since then, including Oladipo transforming IN into one of the better teams IN the Eastern Conference.
"We believe we can win", Oladipo said. "We can be better".
The Pacers took the fight to the Cavs, and Indiana's players are battling critics who say they can't compete with Cleveland.
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"We haven't paid attention to what people have been saying all season long", said Head Coach Nate McMillan. The Cavs were trailing 25-8 at the time, and they were essentially dominated the entire game. These facts make the loss to the Pacers more significant.
For Pacers center Myles Turner, better defensive communication is key.
"They underestimate us", Lance Stephenson said, referring to everyone, not just those Cleveland fans taunting the Pacers on Sunday. When Gilbert mocked the Paul George trade last offseason, he couldn't have known he was lighting a fire under Victor Oladipo that would come back to burn him. "It's only one game, it's only Game 1". The Pacers are a good team that threatened to challenge James in the first round. "We were into them, making them make tough passes, making them take tough shots".
"If we bring that this whole series, we'll be excellent".
They could opt to start veteran J.R. Smith - who scored 15 points off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting in Game 1 - at shooting guard in place of Rodney Hood, who appeared timid for much of Sunday's contest.
"That's not getting shot up", Middleton said.
Or perhaps the adjustments they make will simply be in their level of aggression, as Stephenson theorized. "We thought we had the chance to be pretty good, but when I sat down with Chad Buchanan and Peter Dinwiddie and also [team owner] Herb Simon, we talked about what we really wanted to have happen from that trade", Pritchard told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, adding: "I would say consensus was low-30s [wins], very similar to what the rest of the league [would have predicted for us]". "We'll see what they're going to do".
"He understood that, but once again he's always a guy who tries to get his teammates off early, get some guys going and try to feel the game out, but he has to set the tone, too".