Well, if we are hoping for LeBron to arrive in Los Angeles anytime soon, we should be hoping for an abnormally early exit for James and the Cavaliers.
Turns out, there was something new.
Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 32 points to power the Indiana Pacers over the host Cavaliers 98-80 on Sunday in the opening game of their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series.
Sunday marked just the second nationally televised game for the Pacers all season, with the other coming when George made his return to IN with the Thunder.
"You always hear people say in the regular season, sometimes it's a "play-off-type atmosphere". The first one's a feel-out game.
But while he knows the narrative before Wednesday's game two will be on the struggles of Cleveland's play-off newcomers, James isn't anxious.
The Cavs could also turn to Tristan Thompson, who averaged 11 rebounds and shot 52.2 percent from the field in Cleveland's first-round sweep of the Pacers' last season, but has fallen out of the rotation this year due to lackluster production on the court (to say nothing of his well-documented personal strife off of it). "I was down 1-3 in the (2016) Finals", he said, referring to Cleveland's historic 4-3 comeback victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The Pacers are feeling confident after beating the Cavs for the fourth time this season. The Cavs stormed back and got within seven, but Oladipo hit a big 3-pointer and Bojan Bogdanovic helped put Cleveland away with a 3 to make it 88-71.
They calmly walked off, business as usual.
"We believe that we can win", Oladipo said. James' first official shot came with 1:24 left in the opening period - an errant 3.
The Pacers completely outplayed the three-time defending conference champions, whose turbulent regular season has carried over into the playoffs. James finished with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for his 20th career playoff triple-double. But that makes it all the more important for IN to shore up any deficiencies they saw on film. However, if Clarkson and others continue their poor play, LeBron's heroics may not be enough to save them.
"They came in and they attacked us and they were aggressive".
Cleveland went just 8 of 34 on 3-pointers and missed eight of 20 free throws.
The Pacers took the fight to the Cavs.
It was the first time the Cavaliers lost in the first-round since LeBron returned to the team and James' first first-round loss since 2012 when he was still with the Miami Heat.
That experience means the three-time champion isn't anxious about this latest hole that Cleveland is in. The Pacers had a chip on their shoulder for the entire game and acted like it, playing with great intensity and hustle.
"The game itself, playing the game the right way, is what we use as motivation", McMillan said.
LeBron's got a history of "balling out" against Lance and the Pacers, so it sounds like we should just get the popcorn ready for Wednesday. In the first quarter, Nance Jr. had six points and no one else had more than two. "He's a tough player and you've got to play your best when you play against him. When you don't, you saw what he's capable of".
Gilbert's remark got back to Oladipo, who said Sunday that he was "aware of it". "I'm aware of what he said".