NBA Playoff Schedule 2014: TV Coverage Guide and Complete Bracket

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NBA Playoff Schedule 2014: TV Coverage Guide and Complete Bracket
Don Ryan

It's officially the greatest time of year. The playoffs are here and the weather is gorgeous, right Joakim Noah?

In the West, teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers have been great all season and appear primed for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Portland Trail Blazers are surging at the right time and look like contenders yet again.

On the other side of the bracket, the Miami Heat look like the class of the conference with the Indiana Pacers struggling mightily to close out the season. Then there's the Chicago Bulls, who overcame adversity to become one of the most lethal teams in the Eastern Conference.

Before the playoffs tip off, here's a look at the complete bracket and TV information for the first round of action.

 

Eastern Conference Schedule

No. 1 Indiana Pacers vs. No. 8 Atlanta Hawks

Game 1: Saturday April 19, Atlanta at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 2: Tuesday April 22, Atlanta at Indiana, 7 p.m. ET, TNT

Game 3: Thursday April 24, Indiana at Atlanta, 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Game 4: Saturday April 26, Indiana at Atlanta, 2 p.m. ET, TNT

Game 5: Monday April 28, Atlanta at Indiana, 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Game 6: Thursday May 1, Indiana at Atlanta, TBD, TBD

Game 7: Saturday May 3, Atlanta at Indiana, TBD, TNT

 

No. 2 Miami Heat vs. No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats

Game 1: Sunday April 20, Charlotte at Miami, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Game 2: Wednesday April 23, Charlotte at Miami, 7 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 3: Saturday April 26, Miami at Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 4: Monday April 28, Miami at Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 5: Wednesday April 30, Charlotte at Miami, TBD, TBD 

Game 6: Friday May 2, Miami at Charlotte, TBD, TBD 

Game 7: Sunday May 4, Charlotte at Miami, TBD, TBD

 

No. 3 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 4 Brooklyn Nets

Game 1: Saturday April 19, Brooklyn at Toronto, 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 2: Tuesday April 22, Brooklyn at Toronto, 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Game 3: Friday April 25, Toronto at Brooklyn, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 

Game 4: Sunday April 27, Toronto at Brooklyn, 7 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 5: Wednesday April 30, Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TBD 

Game 6: Friday May 2, Toronto at Brooklyn, TBD, TBD 

Game 7: Sunday May 4, Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TBD

 

No. 4 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 5 Washington Wizards

Game 1: Sunday April 20, Washington at Chicago, 7 p.m., TNT

Game 2: Tuesday April 22, Washington at Chicago, 9:30 p.m., TNT 

Game 3: Friday April 25, Chicago at Washington, 8 p.m., ESPN 

Game 4: Sunday April 27, Chicago at Washington, 1 p.m., ABC 

Game 5: Tuesday April 29, Washington at Chicago, TBD, TBD 

Game 6: Thursday May 1, Chicago at Washington, TBD, TBD 

Game 7: Saturday May 3, Washington at Chicago, TBD, TNT

 

Western Conference Schedule

No. 1 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 8 Dallas Mavericks

Game 1: Sunday April 20, Dallas at San Antonio, 12:00 p.m. ET, TNT

Game 2: Wednesday April 23, Dallas at San Antonio, 7:00 p.m. ET NBA, TV 

Game 3: Saturday April 26, San Antonio at Dallas, 3:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 4: Monday April 28, San Antonio at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 5: Wednesday April 30, Dallas at San Antonio TBD TBD 

Game 6: Friday May 2, San Antonio at Dallas TBD TBD 

Game 7: Sunday May 4, Dallas at San Antonio TBD TBD

 

No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies

Game 1: Saturday April 19, Memphis at Oklahoma City, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 

Game 2: Monday April 21, Memphis at Oklahoma City, 7:00 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 3: Thursday April 24, Oklahoma City at Memphis, 7:00 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 4: Saturday April 26, Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 

Game 5: Tuesday April 29, Memphis at Oklahoma City TBD TBD 

Game 6: Thursday May 1, Oklahoma City at Memphis TBD TBD 

Game 7: Saturday May 3, Memphis at Oklahoma City TBD TNT

 

No. 3 L.A. Clippers vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors

Game 1: Saturday April 19, Golden State at L.A. Clippers, 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Game 2: Monday April 21, Golden State at L.A. Clippers, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 3: Thursday April 24, L.A. Clippers at Golden State, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 4: Sunday April 27, L.A. Clippers at Golden State, 12:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Game 5: Tuesday April 29, Golden State at L.A. Clippers TBD TBD 

Game 6: Thursday May 1, L.A. Clippers at Golden State TBD TBD 

Game 7: Saturday May 3, Golden State at L.A. Clippers TBD TBD TNT

 

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers

Game 1: Sunday April 20, Portland at Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 2: Wednesday April 23, Portland at Houston, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 3: Friday April 25, Houston at Portland, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Game 4: Sunday April 27, Houston at Portland, 6:30 p.m. ET, TNT 

Game 5: Wednesday April 30, Portland at Houston TBD TBD 

Game 6: Friday May 2, Houston at Portland TBD TBD 

Game 7: Sunday May 4, Portland at Houston TBD TBD

 

NBA Playoffs Breakdown

After a long, riveting season, the playoffs are finally here.

Strangely enough, the postseason has an unfamiliar look without some of the most historic franchises being in the mix. It's actually the first time those three cornerstone franchises have ever missed the playoffs at the same time, as SportsCenter points out:

As for the teams in the bracket, several intriguing matchups are on tap in the first round. One of the best series is between the No. 5 seed Trail Blazers and No. 4 Houston Rockets, both teams that have outside shots of making the West finals.

On the Houston side, the addition of Dwight Howard during the offseason has taken the team from a good one to a great one with championship aspirations. With a lineup that includes James Harden and Chandler Parsons, the Rockets are a formidable foe for any team, but will need every bit of that to take down the Blazers.

What Portland brings to the table is a team that was believed to be one of the best midway through the season. After having their share of struggles, the return of LaMarcus Aldridge has been a catalyst for renewed success; the team's gone 5-1 since his return.

Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz spoke about how lethal of a scorer Aldridge can be, per Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune:

Apart from the outstanding series in the West, one of the most competitive will be the No. 4 Chicago Bulls and No. 5 Washington Wizards. The Bulls came into the 2013-14 season with hopes of reclaiming the No. 1 seed they earned years ago, but the loss of Derrick Rose put a damper on those hopes.

But with the resurgence of Carlos Boozer and leadership of Joakim Noah, Chicago has a chance to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals with the Pacers stumbling into the playoffs.

And while the Wizards have the likes of John Wall leading the team, the Bulls are battle tested and have played all season with a chip on their shoulder. The scenario works out perfectly for Chicago, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes:

Regardless of which teams advance out of the first round on both sides, each team in the playoffs has earned their spot. And with a multitude of possibilities leading up to the NBA Finals, any team could wind up hoisting the trophy.

But with some of the best franchises like the San Antonio Spurs and the Heat still holding the cards, getting to the top of the throne for any of the other teams in the running will be difficult.

 

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