NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: When to Watch Best Matchups in Conference Semis

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 7, 2013

MIAMI, FL - MAY 06:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat drives against Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls  during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on May 6, 2013 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

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 [1] vs. Chicago Bulls [5]

Game Matchup Date Time
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 [2] vs. Indiana Pacers [3]

Game Matchup Date Time
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 [1] vs. Memphis Grizzlies [5]

Game Matchup Date Time
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 [2] vs. Golden State Warriors [6]

Game Matchup Date Time
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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