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NBA Reveals Dates, Schedule for Opening Games of 2021 Playoffs

Adam WellsMay 18, 2021

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The 2021 NBA playoffs will officially begin on May 22 with a quadruple-header of games. 

Day 1 of the postseason will be headlined by rematches between the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers, and the playoff debut of the Brooklyn Nets' Big Three. 

The following day will feature the remaining eight teams in action, including the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz:

The full playoff field has yet to be determined, with the final two spots in both conferences up for grabs in the play-in tournament. 

The No. 8 seed in the Western Conference will be at something of a disadvantage with just one day of rest before Game 1 against the Jazz on Sunday after playing two games in a 48-hour period. 

Brooklyn's trio of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving was finally healthy enough to play in the penultimate game of the regular season Saturday. They combined for 39 points in a 105-91 win over the Chicago Bulls in just their eighth game together. 

The Nets will face the winner of Tuesday's play-in game between the Washington Wizards and Boston Celtics. 

The New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns will make their long-awaited return to the postseason Sunday. New York is hosting the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. Phoenix will get the winner of Wednesday's showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. 

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Last year's playoff loss to the Heat prompted Milwaukee's front office to shake up the roster. Newcomer Jrue Holiday has given the Bucks a spark on both ends of the court and been the perfect complement to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Meanwhile, Miami went 18-8 down the stretch this season and enters the playoffs as healthy as it's been all year. 

Another team looking to move on from a playoff defeat last year is the Clippers. They defeated the Mavs in six games in the first round before blowing a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the second round. 

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