NBA Playoff Schedule 2014: Updated Postseason Bracket and TV Coverage Info

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 16, 2014

MIAMI, FL - April 11: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Indiana Pacers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida on April 11, 2014. 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. Mandatory copyright notice: Copyright NBAE 2014 (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

The 2013-14 NBA regular season has reached its final day, and the 16 postseason contenders are looking to finish strong and build momentum ahead of the 2014 NBA playoffs.

The field has been set, but some of the matchups are still a mystery.

Below, we'll break down the updated playoff bracket heading into Wednesday's final regular-season slate of games and highlight where you can watch every round of the NBA playoffs this spring.

 

2014 NBA Playoff Bracket (as of Wednesday, April 16 at 8 a.m. ET)

First RoundConference SemifinalsConference FinalsNBA Finals
EASTERN CONFERENCE   
(1) Indiana Pacers   
(8) Atlanta Hawks   
    
(4) Chicago Bulls   
(5) Brooklyn Nets   
    
(3) Toronto Raptors   
(6) Washington Wizards   
    
(2) Miami Heat   
(7) Charlotte Bobcats   
    
WESTERN CONFERENCE   
(1) San Antonio Spurs   
(8) Memphis Grizzlies   
    
(4) Houston Rockets   
(5) Portland Trail Blazers   
    
(3) Los Angeles Clippers   
(6) Golden State Warriors   
    
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder   
(7) Dallas Mavericks    

*Bold indicates team locked into current seed. Standings via NBA.com.

2014 NBA Playoffs TV Coverage Info
Dates*RoundTV
April 19 - May 4First RoundABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NBA TV, TNT
May 5-19Conference SemifinalsABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT
May 20 - June 2Conference FinalsESPN, TNT
June 5-20NBA FinalsABC
*subject to change; info via SportsMediaWatch.com

The 2014 NBA playoffs will tip off three days after the conclusion of the regular season. Four of the eight first-round playoff series will tip off on Saturday, while the other four will begin Sunday. 

Former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson speaks for every NBA fan when he says he can't wait for the opening tip this weekend:

Saturday's postseason action will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN, according to Sports Media Watch. Meanwhile, a majority of Sunday's coverage will air on TNT. First-round action will continue on those networks through early May, with NBA TV and ESPN2 likely broadcasting several games as well.

By Monday, May 5, all four conference semifinal series will be underway, but some could start as early as Saturday, May 3 or Sunday, May 4 depending on how the first round shakes out.

ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and TNT will provide coverage throughout the conference semifinals.

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 27:  Tim Duncan #21 and Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrate a basket by Duncan in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the FedExForum
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The two conference finals series will be underway by Wednesday, May 21. If the conference semifinal series wrap up sooner than anticipated, potential move-up dates are scheduled for Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19.

ESPN will broadcast the Eastern Conference Finals, and TNT will air the Western Conference Finals. 

Once the field is narrowed down to two teams, the NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday, June 5 and run through Friday, June 20 if all seven games are required. ABC will broadcast the NBA Finals games, which are set to air in prime time. 

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 20: The Larry O'Brien after the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals on June 20, 2013 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, b
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

One notable change to keep in mind is that the NBA Finals will switch from a 2-3-2 format to a 2-2-1-1-1 format this year to mimic the first three rounds of the playoffs. As a result, both teams would have an extra day off prior to a potential Game 7.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the reason for the change prior to the start of the season, via NBA.com: "There certainly was a perception...it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road. So this obviously moves that game back to giving home-court advantage to the team with the better record if it's a 2-2 series."

There's no doubt that the format change makes sense. Not only does the new format fall in line with the rest of the playoffs and allow the team with the better record to play a pivotal Game 5 at home, but it also allows the other team a chance to potentially force a Game 7 at home rather than having to win two in a row on the road. 

If the 2014 NBA Finals are anything like last year's dramatic series between Miami and San Antonio, NBA fans will be in for a treat.

 

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