Day 1 of the 2014 NBA playoffs didn't exactly follow the script, will Day 2 bring more surprising results?
Teams such as the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will hope that the answer to that question is "no." The first day of the tournament featured upset losses for the No. 1 seed in the East as well as an upset loss for the No. 3 seed in both conferences.
The Indiana Pacers' upset was the most shocking in the first day of the playoffs. The No. 1-seeded team in the East was stunned on its home floor by the No. 8-seeded Atlanta Hawks, 101-93. Here's a look at all of the scores from Day 1 with an updated schedule.
|NBA 1st-Round Schedule|
|4/20||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||12 p.m.||TNT||4/20|
|4/23||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||7 p.m.||NBATV||4/23|
|4/26||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||3:30 p.m.||TNT||4/26|
|4/28||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||8:30 p.m.||TNT||4/28|
|4/30||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||TBD||TBD||4/30|
|5/2||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||TBD||TBD||5/2|
|5/4||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||TBD||TBD||5/4|
|4/19||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||9:30 p.m,||ESPN||4/19|
|4/21||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||8 p.m.||TNT||4/21|
|4/24||(2) Thunder vs. Grizzlies||8 p.m.||TNT||4/24|
|4/26||(2) Thunder vs. Grizzlies||9:30 p.m.||ESPN||4/26|
|4/29||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||TBD||TBD||4/29|
|5/1||(2) Thunder vs. Grizzlies||TBD||TBD||5/1|
|5/3||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||TBD||TNT||5/3|
|4/19||(6) Warriors 109 vs. (3) Clippers 105||3:30 p.m.||ABC||Warriors 1-0|
|4/21||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||10:30 p.m.||TNT||4/21|
|4/24||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||10:30 p.m.||TNT||4/24|
|4/27||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||3:30 p.m.||ABC||4/27|
|4/29||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||TBD||TBD||4/29|
|5/1||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||TBD||TBD||5/1|
|5/3||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||TBD||TNT||5/3|
|4/20||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||9:30 p.m.||TNT||4/20|
|4/23||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||9:30 p.m.||TNT||4/23|
|4/25||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||10:30 p.m.||ESPN||4/25|
|4/27||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||9:30 p.m.||TNT||4/27|
|4/30||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||TBD||TBD||4/30|
|5/2||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||TBD||TBD||5/2|
|5/4||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||TBD||TBD||5/4|
|4/19||(8) Hawks 101 vs. (1) Pacers 93||7 p.m.||ESPN||Hawks 1-0|
|4/22||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||7 p.m.||TNT||4/22|
|4/24||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||7 p.m.||NBATV||4/24|
|4/26||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||2 p.m.||TNT||4/26|
|4/28||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||8 p.m.||NBATV||4/28|
|5/1||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||TBD||TBD||5/1|
|5/3||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||TBD||TNT||5/3|
|4/20||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||3:30 p.m.||ABC||4/20|
|4/23||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||7 p.m.||TNT||4/23|
|4/26||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||7 p.m.||ESPN||4/26|
|4/28||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||7 p.m.||TNT||4/28|
|4/30||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||TBD||TBD||4/30|
|5/2||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||TBD||TBD||5/2|
|5/4||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||TBD||ABC||5/4|
|4/19||(6) Nets 94 vs. (3) Raptors 87||12:30 p.m.||ESPN||Nets 1-0|
|4/22||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||8 p.m.||NBATV||4/22|
|4/25||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||7 p.m.||ESPN 2||4/25|
|4/27||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||7 p.m.||TNT||4/27|
|4/30||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||TBD||TBD||4/30|
|5/2||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||TBD||TBD||5/2|
|5/4||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||TBD||TBD||5/4|
|4/20||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||7 p.m.||TNT||4/20|
|4/22||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||9:30 p.m.||TNT||4/22|
|4/25||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||8 p.m.||ESPN||4/25|
|4/27||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||1 p.m.||ABC||4/27|
|4/29||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||TBD||TBD||4/29|
|5/1||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||TBD||TBD||5/1|
|5/3||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||TBD||TBD||5/3|
Each of those higher seeds that were shocked by the upset bug will get a much-needed day off on Day 2, however. The rest of the field will begin their series, as LeBron James, Tony Parker and Dwight Howard are all looking to start a title run with their respective teams, there's plenty of star power that will be in action.
Here's a look at the schedule for the second day of the playoffs as well as predictions for each game.
|NBA Playoffs Day 2 Schedule and Predictions|
|4/20||(8) Mavericks at (1) Spurs||1 p.m.||TNT||Spurs 104-Mavericks 92|
|4/20||(7) Bobcats at (2) Heat||3:30 p.m.||ABC||Heat 94-Bobcats 90|
|4/20||(5) Wizards at (4) Bulls||7 p.m.||TNT||Bulls 88-Wizards 83|
|4/20||(5) Trail Blazers at (4) Rockets||9:30 p.m.||TNT||Rockets 100-Trail Blazers 95|
|Schedule via NBA.com|
San Antonio Spurs Will Remind Everyone Why They're the No. 1 Overall Seed
Despite a successful track record in the playoffs, it never feels like the Spurs get the respect they deserve. As the reigning Western Conference champions and owners of the best regular-season record, one would think the Spurs are the favorite to capture the title.
However, as usual, it feels like the Spurs' chances are being undervalued. Finishing the season with a 32-9 record at home, Tim Duncan and Parker will cruise in Game 1 like a top-seeded team should.
Unlike the Heat and Pacers who ended the season on shaky ground, the Spurs went into April with an 18-game win streak before coasting through the final weeks of the season.
With a leader like Parker, you know the Spurs won't be among the teams who are caught slipping in Round 1. Focus was central to Parker's thoughts on the season, after practice Saturday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
It shows a lot of character on our team, but at the same time, it doesn't mean anything if we don't win the whole thing. We have home court. We did a good job. But we know it doesn't guarantee anything. We just have to stay focused and we know we have a long way to go.
Dwight Howard Will Re-Introduce Himself as Playoff Difference-Maker
It's been a few years since Dwight Howard truly mattered in the playoffs.
Sure, he made an appearance with the Lakers in 2013. But that was on a team that simply had no chance of defeating the Spurs.
This year, the cast is different and so is the situation that his team finds itself in. With James Harden serving as the primary scorer on the outside, Howard has the stage to play like a superstar in the postseason for the first time since he took the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009.
That isn't to say that Howard will lead the Houston Rockets to the finals. This year's Western Conference is much more difficult than the 2009 Eastern Conference that Howard dominated. However, this postseason could signal the return of Howard as a player who actually matters come playoff time.
Expect Howard to play a big role for Houston on both ends of the floor, as it picks up a huge win in Game 1 against the Portland Trail Blazers.