NBA Playoff Schedule 2016: Dates, TV Coverage for Remaining Round 1 Games

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistApril 21, 2016

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, center, scores a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, March 26, 2016, at New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

The 2016 NBA playoffs have stormed out of the gate with riveting Round 1 action hooking hoops fans to their screens. 

OK, fine. Let's be honest. The opening round has mostly laid an egg.

A couple of underdogs stole one on the road, and the Detroit Pistons at least made the Cleveland Cavaliers sweat in a captivating Game 1. Other than that, not much excitement is boiling yet.

A measly four games have ended with a single-digit margin, and that includes the Golden State Warriors' nine-point Game 2 victory without Stephen Curry. Their potential Western Conference Finals opponent, the San Antonio Spurs, would need to sit their entire starting lineup to make their series with the Memphis Grizzlies a fair fight.

Alas, the postseason remains in its infancy. Each series will shift venues before Game 3, creating fresh opportunities for the underdogs to spice things up at home. Let's look at the remaining first-round schedule before highlighting two of the more intriguing matchups.

NBA First Round Playoff Schedule
Eastern Conference: (1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (8) Detroit Pistons
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Detroit at ClevelandSunday, April 17CLE 106-101
2: Detroit at ClevelandWednesday, April 20CLE 107-90
3: Cleveland at DetroitFriday, April 227 p.m.ESPN
4: Cleveland at DetroitSunday, April 248:30 p.m.TNT
*5: Detroit at ClevelandTuesday, April 26TBDTBD
*6: Cleveland at DetroitThursday, April 28TBDTBD
*7: Detroit at ClevelandSaturday, April 30TBDTNT
Eastern Conference: (2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Indiana Pacers
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Indiana at TorontoSaturday, April 16IND 100-90
2: Indiana at TorontoMonday, April 18TOR 98-87
3: Toronto at IndianaThursday, April 217:30 p.m.NBA TV
4: Toronto at IndianaSaturday, April 233 p.m.TNT
5: Indiana at TorontoTuesday, April 26TBDTBD
*6: Toronto at IndianaFriday, April 29TBDTBD
*7: Indiana at TorontoSunday, May 1TBDTBD
Eastern Conference: (3) Miami Heat vs. (6) Charlotte Hornets
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Charlotte at MiamiSunday, April 17MIA 123-91
2: Charlotte at MiamiWednesday, April 20MIA 115-103
3: Miami at CharlotteSaturday, April 235:30 p.m.TNT
4: Miami at CharlotteMonday, April 257 p.m.NBA TV
*5: Charlotte at MiamiWednesday, April 27TBDTBD
*6: Miami at CharlotteFriday, April 29TBDTBD
*7: Charlotte at MiamiSunday, May 1TBDTBD
Eastern Conference: (4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Boston Celtics
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Boston at AtlantaSaturday, April 16ATL 102-101
2: Boston at AtlantaTuesday, April 19ATL 89-72
3: Atlanta at BostonFriday, April 228 p.m.ESPN 2
4: Atlanta at BostonSunday, April 246 p.m.TNT
*5: Boston at AtlantaTuesday, April 26TBDTBD
*6: Atlanta at BostonThursday, April 28TBDTBD
*7: Boston at AtlantaSaturday, April 30TBDTNT
Western Conference: (1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) Houston Rockets
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Houston at Golden StateSaturday, April 16GS 104-78
2: Houston at Golden StateMonday, April 18GS 115-106
3: Golden State at HoustonThursday, April 219:30 p.m.TNT
4: Golden State at HoustonSunday, April 243:30 p.m.ABC
*5: Houston at Golden StateWednesday, April 27TBDTBD
*6: Golden State at HoustonFriday, April 29TBDTBD
*7: Houston at Golden StateSunday, May 1TBDTBD
Western Conference: (2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Memphis Grizzlies
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Memphis at San AntonioSunday, April 17SA 106-74
2: Memphis at San AntonioTuesday, April 19SA 94-68
3: San Antonio at MemphisFriday, April 229:30 p.m.ESPN
4: San Antonio at MemphisSunday, April 241 p.m.ABC
*5: Memphis at San AntonioTuesday, April 26TBDTBD
*6: San Antonio at MemphisThursday, April 28TBDTBD
*7: Memphis at San AntonioSaturday, April 30TBDTNT
Western Conference: (3) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (6) Dallas Mavericks
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Dallas at Oklahoma CitySaturday, April 16OKC 108-70
2: Dallas at Oklahoma CityMonday, April 18DAL 85-84
3: Oklahoma City at DallasThursday, April 217 p.m.TNT
4: Oklahoma City at DallasSaturday, April 238 p.m.ESPN
5: Dallas at Oklahoma CityMonday, April 258 p.m.TNT
*6: Oklahoma City at DallasThursday, April 28TBDTBD
*7: Dallas at Oklahoma CitySaturday, April 30TBDTNT
Western Conference: (4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers
GameDateTime (ET)TV
1: Portland at Los AngelesSunday, April 17LAC 115-95
2: Portland at Los AngelesWednesday, April 20LAC 102-81
3: Los Angeles at PortlandSaturday, April 2310:30 p.m.ESPN
4: Los Angeles at PortlandMonday, April 2510:30 p.m.TNT
*5: Portland at Los AngelesWednesday, April 27TBDTBD
*6: Los Angeles at PortlandFriday, April 29TBDTBD
*7: Portland at Los AngelesSunday, May 1TBDTBD
NBA.com; *=if necessary

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks

Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

One game in, this series looked over. Then the Dallas Mavericks followed a 38-point loss by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road.

Put a fraction of a second more on the clock, and Steven Adams' overturned tip-in gives Oklahoma City a commanding 2-0 lead. Now the Thunder must bounce back from an evening in which Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook went a combined 15-of-55 in an 85-84 defeat, precisely the low-scoring grind Dallas prefers.

Durant especially endured an off night, making seven of 33 shot attempts. ESPN Stats & Info noted his historically bad combination of volume and inefficiency:

While the former MVP accepted blame, he also won't put his head down and shy away from shooting, per ESPN.com's Royce Young

"Bad shooting night for me," Durant said. "It's a part of it. I wish it didn't happen tonight, but it's a part of it. Got some great looks all night and just didn't knock 'em down. Just stick with my routine, don't do too much extra and go out there tomorrow and get ready for practice."

Dallas capitalized on Oklahoma City's lack of scoring depth outside of Durant and Westbrook, who accounted for 59.8 percent of the Thunder's shot attempt. ESPN.com's Zach Lowe was especially critical of Dion Waiters, who offered eight points in 26 unproductive minutes off the bench:

One of the world's best shooters suffered the worst shooting performance of his life, and the Thunder still would have won if not for the benefit of modern technology correctly waving off Adams' game-winning bucket. On a night where Dirk Nowitzki's brittle knees made him look every bit like a 37-year-old, they needed 21 points and 11 boards from Raymond Felton.

The Mavericks probably can't sustain Game 2's formula three more times, but the Thunder should not have expected to coast past a team coached by Rick Carlisle. Even though Durant and Westbrook will see better days, someone else—whether it's Waiters, Serge Ibaka or Enes Kanter—needs to provide some scoring support for the two superstars.

The Thunder should still prevail, but they're not making a strong case for standing a shot against San Antonio or Golden State.

Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Among the league's heavy hitters, the Toronto Raptors are in the gravest danger of going home early.

They avenged Game 1's 10-point loss to the Indiana Pacers with an 11-point victory in Game 2, but the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed now hits the road with the best-of-seven slate tied at 1-1. Along with burdening the expectations of opposing Cleveland in the conference finals, the Raptors must first escape Round 1 for the first time in 15 years.

It's no lock if Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan stay cold. Both guards are shooting below 30 percent through two games, and they have combined to go 1-of-17 from behind the three-point arc:

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan: Games 1 and 2
PlayerFGM-AFG %3PM-A3P %
Kyle Lowry7-26.2691-12.083
DeMar DeRozan10-37.2700-5.000
NBA.com

Those struggles may amount to more than a fluke. Per NBA.com, the Pacers finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in defensive rating behind the Spurs and Atlanta Hawks. As noted by ESPN.com's Mike Mazzeo, DeRozan has gone 4-of-18 when guarded primarily by Paul George. Toronto's star shooting guard, who netted a team-high 23.5 points per game this season, didn't express concern about his tough adversary.

"I feel like it's nothing to get frustrated about, I really do," DeRozan said on Tuesday, per Mazzeo. "I don't mind having bad shooting nights. You have to be able to take the good with the bad. I had a great season, the season is over with and I've had two rough shooting nights."

Video Play Button

Unlike OKC, Toronto's teammates picked up its stars. Patrick Patterson and Cory Joseph combined for 30 points on 14 field-goal attempts in Game 2, but Jonas Valanciunas provided the heavy lifting with 23 points and 15 rebounds.

While the Raptors boast depth, the Pacers will only go as far as George carries them. That could very well be to a six- or seven-game series, as the 25-year-old is playing inspired basketball on both ends. 

Toronto has already secured 25 more rebounds than Indiana, so it's mostly a matter of getting Lowry and DeRozan back on track at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Related

    NBA Stars Defying Father Time

    Generational talent keeps these 10 stars in the upper echelon of NBA talent well into their 30s

    NBA logo
    NBA

    NBA Stars Defying Father Time

    Generational talent keeps these 10 stars in the upper echelon of NBA talent well into their 30s

    Preston Ellis
    via Bleacher Report

    Gilbert Arenas Opens Up to B/R

    🙌 Trained with Bronny Jr.: ‘Super freak’ 💬 Addresses infamous gun incident 🗣️ Agent 0 on his legacy going into free fall

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Gilbert Arenas Opens Up to B/R

    🙌 Trained with Bronny Jr.: ‘Super freak’ 💬 Addresses infamous gun incident 🗣️ Agent 0 on his legacy going into free fall

    Leo Sepkowitz
    via Bleacher Report

    Harden Donating $250K+ to Renovate Houston Basketball Courts 💯

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Harden Donating $250K+ to Renovate Houston Basketball Courts 💯

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Team USA Final Roster Announced 🇺🇸

    Kyle Kuzma is team's last cut due to ankle injury. How far will this squad go?

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Team USA Final Roster Announced 🇺🇸

    Kyle Kuzma is team's last cut due to ankle injury. How far will this squad go?

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report