NBA Playoff Schedule 2013: Viewing Info for Weekend's Pivotal Matchups
There are only five teams still left standing in the journey to an NBA championship. Three teams, including the defending champion Miami Heat, have already earned berths in the conference finals.
In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies will go head-to-head in a best-of-seven series, which will begin Sunday, to see who will represent the West in the 2013 NBA Finals this June.
The Eastern Conference picture isn't quite as clear, however.
Miami is just four wins away from returning to the NBA Finals, but it remains to be seen who the Heat will play in the next round. The Indiana Pacers lead the New York Knicks 3-2 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, but they can eliminate the Knicks and guarantee a matchup with the Heat with a win at home on Saturday night.
With the stage set for a thrilling weekend of hoops, we'll get you set with everything you need to make sure you don't miss a minute.
Knicks Look to Stave Off Elimination in Indiana
When: Saturday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET
The New York Knicks must figure out a way to win in Indiana on Saturday night or else they'll be headed home much earlier than anticipated.
Carmelo Anthony and company find themselves down 3-2 heading into Game 6 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers.
Although the Knicks are the higher seed, Covers.com has the Pacers as five-point favorites—and why not? After all, New York is 0-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this year, including the regular season. Plus, the Knicks dropped both Games 3 and 4 in Indiana by 11 points each, averaging under 77 points per game in the two losses.
The Pacers have been strong at home in these playoffs, boasting a flawless 5-0 mark at home going back to their first-round series win over the Atlanta Hawks. But all five of those wins came with point guard George Hill in the lineup. Hill is currently recovering from a concussion that forced him to miss Game 5 in New York.
If he can't suit up on Saturday, it could be the difference between the Pacers advancing to the conference finals and the Knicks forcing a Game 7 back at Madison Square Garden.
Grizzlies and Spurs Battle for Series Lead in San Antonio
When: Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 p.m. ET
The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies will meet in the postseason for the second time in three years this May. The last time they met was in 2011, when the then eighth-seeded Grizzlies stunned the top-ranked Spurs in six games.
Two years later, the two teams are standing in each other's way of a trip to the NBA Finals.
Memphis will make its first-ever conference finals appearance in 2013, while the Spurs have made back-to-back appearances. San Antonio led the Oklahoma City Thunder 2-0 in the Western Conference finals last year before losing four straight games to the young Thunder.
Which game are you most excited to watch?
San Antonio and Memphis split the regular-season series this year, each winning two games on their home floor. And that certainly bodes well for the second-seeded Spurs, who will enter this series healthy and possessing home-court advantage.
There are plenty of fantastic matchups to watch for in this series, including on the perimeter, where point guards Tony Parker and Mike Conley will go head to head. But the most intriguing battle will take place in the paint, where future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan will have his hands full dealing with Memphis' Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol.
Will the Grizzlies knock off the Spurs for the second time in three years, or will San Antonio reach the NBA Finals for the fifth time in franchise history?
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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