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NBA Playoff Schedule 2014: First-Round TV Info and Updated Postseason Bracket

Apr 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones (6) chases during the second quarter of game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 25, 2014

A plethora of stunning results and jaw-dropping individual performances have the 2014 NBA playoffs off to an exciting start. But with nearly two months left to go before a champion is crowned, there's a whole lot of action still left for fans to take in. 

Let's take a look at the upcoming television schedule and what the postseason bracket looks like heading into the playoffs' second weekend.

 

2014 NBA Playoff TV Schedule - First Round
Fri, April 25MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 3: Raptors at Nets7 p.m.ESPN2
Game 3: Bulls at Wizards8 p.m.ESPN
Game 3: Rockets at Trail Blazers10:30 p.m.ESPN
Sat, April 26MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 4: Pacers at Hawks2 p.m.TNT
Game 3: Spurs at Mavericks4:30 p.m.TNT
Game 3: Heat at Bobcats7 p.m.ESPN
Game 4: Thunder at Grizzlies9:30 p.m.ESPN
Sun, April 27MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 4: Bulls at Wizards1 p.m.ABC
Game 4: Clippers at Warriors3:30 p.m.ABC
Game 4: Raptors at Nets7 p.m.TNT
Game 4: Rockets at Trail Blazers9:30 p.m.TNT
Mon, April 28MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 4: Heat at Bobcats7 p.m.TNT
Game 5: Hawks at Pacers8 p.m.NBATV
Game 4: Spurs at Mavericks9:30 p.m.TNT
Tue, April 29MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 5: Grizzlies at ThunderTBDTBD
Game 5: Wizards at Bulls*TBDTBD
Game 5: Warriors at Clippers10:30 p.m.TNT
Wed, April 30MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 5: Mavericks at SpursTBDTBD
Game 5: Bobcats at Heat*TBDTBD
Game 5: Nets at RaptorsTBDTBD
Game 5: Trail Blazers at Rockets*TBDTBD
Thu, May 1MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 6: Pacers at Hawks*TBDTBD
Game 6: Thunder at Grizzlies*TBDTBD
Game 6: Clippers at Warriors*TBDTBD
Game 6: Bulls at Wizards*TBDTBD
Fri, May 2MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 6: Spurs at Mavericks*TBDTBD
Game 6: Heat at Bobcats*TBDTBD
Game 6: Raptors at Nets*TBDTBD
Game 6: Rockets at Trail Blazers*TBDTBD
Sat, May 3MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 7: Hawks at Pacers*TBDTNT
Game 7: Grizzlies at Thunder*TBDTNT
Game 7: Warriors at Clippers*TBDTNT
Game 7: Wizards at Bulls*TBDTNT
Sun, May 4MatchupTime (ET)TV
Game 7: Mavericks at Spurs*TBDTBD
Game 7: Bobcats at Heat*TBDTBD
Game 7: Nets at Raptors*TBDTBD
Game 7: Trail Blazers at Rockets*TBDTBD
*if necessary. Info via NBA.com

 

2014 NBA Playoff Bracket (as of Friday, April 25 at 10 a.m. ET)

First RoundConf. SemisConf. FinalsNBA Finals
EASTERN CONFERENCE   
(1) Indiana Pacers    
(8) Atlanta Hawks (Lead 2-1)   
    
(4) Chicago Bulls   
(5) Washington Wizards (Lead 2-0)   
    
(3) Toronto Raptors (Tied 1-1)   
(6) Brooklyn Nets   
    
(2) Miami Heat (Lead 2-0)   
(7) Charlotte Bobcats   
    
WESTERN CONFERENCE   
(1) San Antonio Spurs (Tied 1-1)   
(8) Dallas Mavericks   
    
(4) Houston Rockets    
(5) Portland Trail Blazers (Lead 2-0)   
    
(3) Los Angeles Clippers (Lead 2-1)   
(6) Golden State Warriors    
    
(2) Oklahoma City Thunder    
(7) Memphis Grizzlies (Lead 2-1)   

 

What to Watch for on Friday

Raptors and Nets Battle for 2-1 Edge

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 22:  Joe Johnson #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives against DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Toronto Raptors in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Air Canada Centre on April 22, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER:
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

In a series that has featured plenty of trash talk (noted by CNN host and reporter Rachel Nichols), horrid offensive execution and a pair of close finishes, the Brooklyn Nets will welcome the division rival Toronto Raptors into the Barclays Center on Friday night for Game 3 as they look to maintain home-court advantage and take a 2-1 series lead.

The Raptorshoping to overcome their lack of postseason experience to reach the conference semifinals for the first time since 2001bounced back to win Game 2 but must find an answer for the Nets' defense on the road this weekend in order to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole.

Toronto is averaging just 93.5 points per game in this series while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor and just 25.6 percent from beyond the arc. Brooklyn is slightly worse in both shooting categories but has been successful by avoiding turnovers. While the Nets are averaging just 9.5 turnovers per game this postseason, the Raptors are averaging roughly 20 per game. 

That number also explains how the series is tied despite Toronto boasting a plus-30 advantage on the boards through two games.

The Nets offense will be much improved in Games 3 and 4 in Brooklyn as role players tend to play better at home, so it'll be up to the Raptors to reduce their turnover count and earn more than the 74.5 field-goal attempts they are averaging in these playoffs. 

 

Wizards, Trail Blazers Eye Commanding 3-0 Series Leads

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 22:  Trevor Booker #35, Nene Hilario #42 and John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards walk off the court in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Bulls on April 22, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illin
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

Both the Washington Wizards and Portland Trail Blazers achieved the unthinkable earlier this week, winning Games 1 and 2 of their respective series on the road to take 2-0 leads back home with a chance to close out their first-round series. 

As ESPN Stats & Info points out, both teams are sitting pretty ahead of Friday's Game 3 showdowns:

The Wizards have taken advantage of the Bulls' lack of a go-to scorer thus far and show no signs of slowing down offensively as the series shifts to the nation's capital. 

Washington is shooting 48.1 percent from the floor through two gameswhich ranks third best in these playoffs behind the Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat—and is getting 40 points per game from Nene and Bradley Beal.

Apr 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) defends during the second quarter in game one during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Cent
USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, the Blazers have held Rockets star James Harden in check and have received overwhelming production from LaMarcus Aldridge, who is averaging 44.5 points per game in two playoff wins. After Game 2, Rockets head coach Kevin McHale acknowledged that Aldridge had the answer for everything Houston threw at him, via SI.com's Ben Golliver:

We tried changing it up tonight. The first game he got in the paint and wore us out. Tonight he was picking and popping and moving. We were having a hard time running people at him. We were trying to get the ball out of his hands.

While one has to believe Aldridge will cool off eventually, the Rockets will have very little hope of getting back in this series if they can't start sinking their threes.

Houston is a combined 11-of-51 from deep as a team through two games, and that won't get it done against a team as potent offensively as Portland.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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