May 24, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (24) moves the ball against Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Paul George: Cleveland Cavaliers are the front-runners

When the game’s best player, forward LeBron James, left the Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team he left in favor of the Heat in 2010, it looked like the Indiana Pacers could become the favorite to win the 2015 NBA Title. However, they lost guard Lance Stephenson to the Charlotte Hornets and although they signed former Detroit Pistons’ guard Rodney Stuckey, that is obviously a downgrade.

George is confident the Pacers are still a legitimate contender but believes the Cavaliers are currently the front-runners.

“With Lance being gone and everyone thinking this is going to be a rebuilding year for us,” Paul George said during Team USA training camp this week via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, “immediately when LeBron went to Cleveland, that made them the front-runners.”

Although many don’t agree with George, the Cavaliers are currently the favorite in Las Vegas with a league-best 3/1 odds to win the title (The San Antonio Spurs check in second with 9/2 odds while the Pacers have the seventh-best odds at 18/1).

George averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per while shooting 42.4% from the field, 36.4% from beyond the arc and 86.4% from the charity stripe. In the postseason, he put up 22.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 43.8% from the field, 40.3% from three and 78.9% from the free throw line. James averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 56.7% from the field, 37.9% from three and 75.0% from the charity stripe last season. In the playoffs, he went for 27.4 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game while shooting 56.5% from the floor, 40.7% from beyond the arc and 80.6% from the free throw line.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers Indiana Pacers Lebron James Paul George

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