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NBA Playoff Bracket 2018: TV Schedule, Saturday Live-Stream Guide and Picks

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 28, 2018

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 26:  Al Horford #42 of the Boston Celtics handles the ball while being guarded by Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks in the third quarter during Game Six of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at the Bradley Center on April 26, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Al Horford;Giannis Antetokounmpo
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Indiana Pacers forced a Game 7 with a 121-87 blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first-round NBA playoff series on Friday, but the Utah Jazz were able to finish off the Oklahoma City Thunder in a 96-91 Game 6 victory.

Indiana vs. Cleveland won't be the only first-round series to go the distance, as the Boston Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 on Saturday evening. In an odd schedule twist, the conference semifinals will begin before the first round ends, as the Golden State Warriors will play the New Orleans Pelicans to kick off the second round on Saturday.

Here's a look at the latest playoff bracket, the known television schedule, per Sports Media Watch, a live-stream guide and picks for those Saturday matchups.

                      

NBA Playoff Bracket: Eastern Conference

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First Round

No. 1 Toronto Raptors 4, No. 8 Washington Wizards 2

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers 3, No. 5 Indiana Pacers 3

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers 4, No. 6 Miami Heat 1

No. 2 Boston Celtics 3, No. 7 Milwaukee Bucks 3

                      

Second Round

Toronto vs. Cleveland/Indiana winner

Philadelphia vs. Boston/Milwaukee winner

                                  

Conference Finals

Winners of second-round matchups face off. Higher seed has home-court advantage.

                            

NBA Playoff Bracket: Western Conference

First Round

No. 1 Houston Rockets 4, No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves 1

No. 5 Utah Jazz 4, No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder 2

No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans 4, No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers 0

No. 2 Golden State Warriors 4, No. 7 San Antonio Spurs 1

                           

Second Round

Golden State vs. New Orleans

Houston vs. Utah

                                   

Conference Finals

Winners of second-round matchups face off. Higher seed has home-court advantage.

                           

NBA Finals

Eastern Conference winner vs. Western Conference winner. Team with better regular-season record has home-court advantage.

               

TV Schedule (Confirmed Games) and Live-Stream Information

Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. on TNT and the TNT app: Milwaukee at Boston

Saturday, April 28 at 10:30 p.m. on TNT and the TNT app: New Orleans at Golden State (second round)

Sunday, April 29 at 1 p.m. on ABC and WatchESPN: Indiana at Cleveland

Sunday, April 29 at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and WatchESPN: Houston at Utah (second round)

              

NBA Playoff Round Dates

Second Round: Saturday, April 28 through Monday, May 14 (if necessary)

Conference Finals: Tuesday, May 15 through Monday, May 28 (if necessary)

NBA Finals: Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 17 (if necessary)

                

Picks for April 28 Games

Milwaukee at Boston

The road team has yet to win in this series, which could give the slight advantage to the Celtics as they play host to the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday evening.

The Bucks defense came to play on Thursday as it held Boston to just 37 percent shooting. In fact, no Celtic who took more than one field goal shot better than 50 percent. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo also proved unstoppable as he scored 31 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished four assists.

There are a few X-factors to watch for this game.

First up is Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, who shook off a rough Game 5 (two points) to score 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He was also active on the glass with six rebounds. If Brogdon can put the ball in the hoop yet again, that will take some pressure off the Bucks' big three of Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton.

On the flip side, Celtics forward Marcus Morris may need a big game off the bench. He's by far the team's best scoring option on the second unit and could prove invaluable should the team need an offensive boost. Morris pitched in 14 points on Thursday, which was four more than the rest of the Boston reserves combined.

Celtics center Al Horford could be the deciding factor. He has notable home/road splits in this series, scoring 20.7 points and grabbing 10.3 rebounds at home while posting 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in Milwaukee.

Perhaps it's a coincidence, but Horford's efficiency numbers have been far better at home overall this year (52.4 percent shooting and 118 offensive rating in Boston, 46.0 percent shooting and 112 offensive rating elsewhere, per Basketball Reference).

Given the obvious home/away pattern, look for Horford to post another big game in the 20-point, 10-rebound range as the Celtics hold serve and fight off the Bucks, who have gone just 19-25 (including playoffs) away from home this season.

                  

New Orleans at Golden State

Per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr provided an update on point guard Steph Curry, who is out with a Grade 2 MCL sprain:

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Full Steph Curry update from Steve Kerr today. Curry is currently scrimmaging 5-on-5 for the first time in weeks. Still considered questionable for Game 1. Will matter how he comes out of this. https://t.co/yNcgEt6LY7

If Curry is able to suit up, then the Warriors have the clear edge. Even with his status in doubt, the Dubs are nine-point favorites, per OddsShark.

However, the Pels have momentum on their side as they have won nine straight games dating back to the regular season. A dominant four-game sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers was characterized by excellent perimeter defense and the members of the Pels' starting lineup more or less taking turns as the No. 1 offensive star on a given night.

The Pels will have to stay hot in order to have a chance against the Warriors. As well as the defense has played, trying to slow down four All-Stars is a near-impossible task. But the Pels' offense has been causing havoc thanks to the combination of Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic, Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo.

Notably, Rondo is in prime "Playoff Rondo" form, as he posted 11.3 points, 13.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds in the four-game sweep of the Blazers.

Off the bench, the Warriors have the edge. Namely, the veteran trio of Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and David West is going to cause problems for a Pels bench that hasn't made much of an impact this season.

Pels guard Ian Clark could get hot from deep, but aside from that, New Orleans' second unit is filled with tough, defensive-minded players who struggle to score. That could be a problem when the starters get a breather.

Ultimately, betting against the playoff-tested Warriors is a tall task, especially with them owning home-court advantage. If the Pels go cold from the field, this could be an ugly series, especially if Curry is able to shake off the rust quickly. As for Game 1, look for the Warriors to win regardless of whether Curry can play.

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