NBA Playoffs: First Round Matchups & Weekend Schedule


Though the teams were all in place, no less than eight of the 16 overall seeds in this year’s NBA postseason were yet to be determined coming into Wednesday’s regular-season finale slate.

Anarchy, the final day wasn’t, things fell together quite nicely when you think about it — in the East the non-Indiana and Miami series seem to be built for maximum drama potential, pitting together two inexperienced playoff teams (Washington, Toronto) with squads full of gritty vets each with aims on wrecking the prospects of a Pacers-Heat showdown.

Out West — where the No. 8 seed’s record was one game better than the East’s No. 3 — its all about figuring out who has the upper hand and two in-state rivalries (San Antonio-Dallas, L.A. Clippers-Golden State) could set up to be 1-2 in the first round’s list of most competitive series.

Of course, the other two series look pretty good as well — Memphis may be the most dangerous No. 7 seed in creation and they’ll try their best to physically wear out Oklahoma City, then there’s Houston and Portland, both of whom may average 115 points a game in the series. I’m sayin…

Conference disparities be damned! This could shape up to be a thrilling first round of the NBA playoffs. Here’s your early guide to this weekend’s schedule, split across two days and three networks*:

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Indiana (56-26) vs. No. 8 Atlanta (38-44)

Season Series: Split 2-2

Game 1: in Indianapolis, Saturday, 6 p.m. (ESPN)

No. 2 Miami (54-28) vs. No. 7 Charlotte (43-39)

Season Series: Heat won 4-0

Game 1: in Miami, Sunday, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)

No. 3 Toronto (48-34) vs. No. 6 Brooklyn (44-38)

Season Series: Split 2-2

Game 1: in Toronto, Saturday, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN)

No. 4 Chicago (48-34) vs. No. 5 Washington (44-38)

Season Series: Wizards won 2-1

Game 1: in Chicago, Sunday, 6 p.m. (TNT)

Western Conference

No. 1 San Antonio (62-20) vs. No. 8 Dallas (49-33)

Season Series: Spurs won 4-0

Game 1: in San Antonio, Sunday, Noon (TNT)

No. 2 Oklahoma City (59-23) vs. No. 7 Memphis (50-32)

Season Series: Thunder won 3-1

Game 1: in Oklahoma City, Saturday, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

No. 3 L.A. Clippers (57-24) vs. No. 6 Golden State (50-31)

Season Series: Split 2-2

Game 1: in L.A., Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)

No. 4 Houston (54-28) vs. No. 5 Portland (53-28)

Season Series: Houston won 3-1

Game 1: in Houston, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)

*All times Central

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