NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: When to Watch Best Matchups in Conference Semis
The 2013 NBA playoffs certainly weren't short on drama, excitement, clutch shots or stunning results in Game 1 of the conference semifinals, and it's set the tone for a must-watch round of action.
Anyone who had expected Miami, San Antonio and Oklahoma City to simply cruise through their respective second-round series were proven wrong as teams like Chicago and Golden State pushed their more-fancied opponents all the way in Game 1.
All four conference semifinals are shaping as truly fascinating series indeed, and you simply can't afford to miss a moment of action from any game this year. So read on for a full playoff schedule, as well some of the best matchups to watch out for as well.
2013 NBA Playoffs: Full Schedule for Conference Semis
Details provided via SportsMediaWatch; TBA (to be announced)
Miami Heat  vs. Chicago Bulls 
|1||Bulls at Heat||Monday, May 6||7:00 p.m.|
|2||Bulls at Heat||Wednesday, May 8||7:00 p.m.|
|3||Heat at Bulls||Friday, May 10||8:00 p.m.|
|4||Heat at Bulls||Monday, May 13||7:00 p.m.|
|5*||Bulls at Heat||Wednesday, May 15||TBA|
|6*||Heat at Bulls||Friday, May 17||8:00 p.m.|
|7*||Bulls at Heat||Sunday, May 19||TBA|
New York Knicks  vs. Indiana Pacers 
|1||Pacers at Knicks||Sunday, May 5||3:30 p.m.|
|2||Pacers at Knicks||Tuesday, May 7||7:00 p.m.|
|3||Knicks at Pacers||Saturday, May 11||8:15 p.m.|
|4||Knicks at Pacers||Tuesday, May 14||TBA|
|5*||Pacers at Knicks||Thursday, May 16||8:00 p.m.|
|6*||Knicks at Pacers ||Saturday, May 18||TBA|
|7*||Pacers at Knicks ||Monday, May 20||8:00 p.m.
Oklahoma City Thunder  vs. Memphis Grizzlies 
|1||Grizzlies at Thunder||Sunday, May 5||1:00 p.m.|
|2||Grizzlies at Thunder||Tuesday, May 7||9:30 p.m.|
|3||Thunder at Grizzlies||Saturday, May 11||5:00 p.m.|
|4||Thunder at Grizzlies ||Monday, May 13||9:30 p.m.|
|5*||Grizzlies at Thunder ||Wednesday, May 15||TBA|
|6*||Thunder at Grizzlies ||Friday, May 17||10:30 p.m.|
|7*||Grizzlies at Thunder ||Sunday, May 19||TBA
San Antonio Spurs  vs. Golden State Warriors 
|1||Warriors at Spurs||Monday, May 6||9:30 p.m.|
|2||Warriors at Spurs||Wednesday, May 8||9:30 p.m.|
|3||Spurs at Warriors||Friday, May 10||10:30 p.m.|
|4||Spurs at Warriors ||Sunday, May 12||3:30 p.m.|
|5*||Warriors at Spurs ||Tuesday, May 14||9:30 p.m.|
|6*||Spurs at Warriors ||Friday, May 17||TBA|
|7*||Warriors at Spurs ||Sunday, May 19||TBA
* denotes if required.
2013 NBA Playoffs: Best Matchups to Watch for in Conference Semis
Memphis' Gritty Defense vs. Kevin Durant
After dropping the first two games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis roared back to take a 4-2 series win in their first-round matchup, with their gritty inside defense a hallmark of that comeback.
However, they face a huge test in the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant, who is one of the best pure scorers in basketball. Now that Russell Westbrook is out, the league's second-leading scorer will likely see plenty of looks here and is more than capable of chalking up some big scores.
In Game 1, Durant scored 35 points and a go-ahead jumper with 11 seconds remaining to cap off a thrilling double-digit comeback by the Thunder at home.
For the Grizzlies to win this series, they're going to need to get bodies on Durant and force other players to step up and score. They showed in the opening game that they have the defense required to stop the Thunder as a team; now they need to show they can do it on an individual level as they work against Durant.
Banged-Up Bulls vs. Miami's Big Three
Miami was expected to romp in against Chicago (given a 13-point spread), but it was the Bulls who chalked up an incredible victory on the road in Miami.
Without Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, the banged-up Bulls used their great defense and a big game from Nate Robinson and Joakim Noah to stun the Heat—running away with the game in the fourth quarter to chalk up a phenomenal 93-86 victory.
Granted, Miami did have a long rest before that given their quick series against Milwaukee; but even still, this was a poor all-around performance from the Heat. LeBron James had a quiet night by his standards (which was still not that far from a triple-double) whilst Dwyane Wade struggled to leave a positive impression on the floor.
The win has many dreaming of a potential upset, where the banged-up Bulls take down the Heat's incredible Big Three, who have been unstoppable all season.
Given that Chicago are one of the few teams to boast a winning record against the Heat this season, we may well be in for one spectacular second-round series.
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