The NBA playoffs weren't really supposed to start until the second round, especially in the Eastern Conference, because the early-round matchups didn't have that sizzle and spark to them.
Yet here we are, after each series has played at least one game, and we have no idea what's going on. The Indiana Pacers, who led the East with 56 wins, are coming apart at the seams. Oklahoma City and Los Angeles didn't hold home court in the first two games of their respective series.
It's the latest evidence we have that nothing in sports can be predicted, though that doesn't stop anyone from trying. As we look ahead at the rest of the first-round series, it's nice not knowing what will happen.
We've got an updated look at the bracket following Monday's games as well as television information for the rest of the first round and what to expect moving forward.
|Date||Matchup||Time (ET)||TV / Result|
|4/20||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||1 p.m.||San Antonio, 90-85 (SA leads 1-0)|
|4/23||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||8 p.m.||NBATV|
|4/26||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||4:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/28||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||9:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/30||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||TBD||TBD|
|5/2||(1) Spurs vs. (8) Mavericks||TBD||TBD|
|5/4||(8) Mavericks vs. (1) Spurs||TBD||TBD|
|4/19||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||9:30 p.m,||Oklahoma City, 100-86 (OKC leads 1-0)|
|4/21||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||8 p.m.||Memphis, 111-105 (OT) (Series tied 1-1)|
|4/24||(2) Thunder vs. (7) Grizzlies||8 p.m.||TNT|
|4/26||(2) Thunder vs. (7) Grizzlies||9:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|4/29||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||TBD||TBD|
|5/1||(2) Thunder vs. (7) Grizzlies||TBD||TBD|
|5/3||(7) Grizzlies vs. (2) Thunder||TBD||TNT|
|4/19||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||3:30 p.m.||Golden State, 109-105 (GS leads 1-0)|
|4/21||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||10:30 p.m.||Los Angeles, 138-98 (Series tied 1-1)|
|4/24||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||10:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/27||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||3:30 p.m.||ABC|
|4/29||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||TBD||TBD|
|5/1||(3) Clippers vs. (6) Warriors||TBD||TBD|
|5/3||(6) Warriors vs. (3) Clippers||TBD||TNT|
|4/20||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||9:30 p.m.||Portland, 122-120 (POR leads 1-0)|
|4/23||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||9:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/25||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||10:30 p.m.||ESPN|
|4/27||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||9:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/30||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||TBD||TBD|
|5/2||(4) Rockets vs. (5) Trail Blazers||TBD||TBD|
|5/4||(5) Trail Blazers vs. (4) Rockets||TBD||TBD|
|4/19||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||7 p.m.||Atlanta, 101-93 (ATL leads 1-0)|
|4/22||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||7 p.m.||TNT|
|4/24||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||7 p.m.||NBATV|
|4/26||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||2 p.m.||TNT|
|4/28||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||8 p.m.||NBATV|
|5/1||(1) Pacers vs. (8) Hawks||TBD||TBD|
|5/3||(8) Hawks vs. (1) Pacers||TBD||TNT|
|4/20||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||3:30 p.m.||Miami, 99-88 (MIA leads 1-0)|
|4/23||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||7 p.m.||TNT|
|4/26||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||7 p.m.||ESPN|
|4/28||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||7 p.m.||TNT|
|4/30||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||TBD||TBD|
|5/2||(2) Heat vs. (7) Bobcats||TBD||TBD|
|5/4||(7) Bobcats vs. (2) Heat||TBD||ABC|
|4/19||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||12:30 p.m.||Brooklyn, 94-87 (BK leads 1-0)|
|4/22||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||7:30 p.m.||NBATV|
|4/25||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||7 p.m.||ESPN 2|
|4/27||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||7 p.m.||TNT|
|4/30||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||TBD||TBD|
|5/2||(3) Raptors vs. (6) Nets||TBD||TBD|
|5/4||(6) Nets vs. (3) Raptors||TBD||TBD|
|4/20||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||7 p.m.||Washington, 102-93 (WAS leads 1-0)|
|4/22||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||9:30 p.m.||TNT|
|4/25||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||8 p.m.||ESPN|
|4/27||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||1 p.m.||ABC|
|4/29||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||TBD||TBD|
|5/1||(4) Bulls vs. (5) Wizards||TBD||TBD|
|5/3||(5) Wizards vs. (4) Bulls||TBD||TBD|
Team on Upset Alert: Indiana Pacers vs. Atlanta Hawks
What's the best first-round playoff series?
Can we really call this an upset anymore? The Hawks went into Indiana on April 6, led by 32 at halftime and won by 19. They pulled off a similar feat in Game 1 on Saturday night.
If you have repeatedly proved you can beat a team, even though that team has a better record, how does that qualify as an upset?
The Pacers are in a critical situation right now. Changes have to be made, especially with Roy Hibbert. The 7'2" center looks lost, even allowing 6'7" Kyle Korver to block his shot in Game 1. He shouldn't be starting in this series.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel on possible lineup or rotation changes: “We’ll see. … I’m not telling.”— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) April 20, 2014
Regardless of how fragile Hibbert is, Frank Vogel has to do what is best for this team. The Pacers can't afford to have a center who isn't capable of scoring in the paint or defending anywhere outside the paint against a team that doesn't play in that area.
Jeff Teague, an Indianapolis native, picked apart the Pacers in Game 1 with 28 points, five assists and three rebounds. Vogel's Pacers don't do well against fast guards who can exploit their lack of speed, so until they find an answer for Atlanta's star, this series is going to get worse.
Tuesday Game to Watch: Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls
This series seems to be flying under the radar because the Wizards don't get a lot of national attention and the Bulls are a blue-collar, win-ugly team without a superstar (thanks to Derrick Rose's injury).
Despite the lack of national attention, this Wizards and Bulls matchup has the potential to be a stellar six- or seven-game series. The Wizards took Game 1 in Chicago thanks to a dazzling performance from Nene (24 points, eight rebounds) and an excellent playoff debut by John Wall, who had 16 points, six assists and six rebounds.
The Bulls are the best defensive team in the NBA, but Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix noted that Washington was hoping to get them in a playoff series:
Wizards wanted Chicago. Preferred it to a TOR matchup. Liked Nene-Noah matchup, liked John Wall's speed advantage. This series could be good— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 21, 2014
That formula held true in Game 1, but we know that Tom Thibodeau is going to have Chicago ready to play on Tuesday. This team has undergone drastic changes since the beginning of the year—from losing Rose to an injury to trading Luol Deng—but it never wavers.
If this series goes less than six games, it will be an upset.
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