NBA Playoffs 2019: Game Times, TV Schedule and Predictions for Sunday Matchups

Jake RillCorrespondent IIApril 14, 2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) goes up for a shot between Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and Rockets' Clint Capela (15) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Saturday provided some exciting action to open the NBA playoffs. On Sunday, there will be even more.

Four more first-round series open Sunday, providing a full slate of postseason basketball. There are two afternoon games and two night games, featuring some of the best teams from around the NBA.

Here's a look at Sunday's matchups and predictions for which teams will start the playoffs on a strong note with a Game 1 win.

     

Sunday NBA Playoffs Schedule (All Times ET)

Game 1: Indiana at Boston, 1 p.m., TNT

Game 1: Oklahoma City at Portland, 3:30 p.m., ABC

Game 1: Detroit at Milwaukee, 7 p.m., TNT

Game 1: Utah at Houston, 9:30 p.m., TNT

       

Sunday Predictions

The top three scorers in the NBA during the regular season should all be in action Sunday—depending on whether Paul George (right shoulder soreness, day-to-day) plays—and all three will be victorious.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (27.7 points per game, third in the NBA) is looking for his first career playoff series win. He has lost in the first round with the Bucks three times, including each of the past two years, since entering the league in the 2013-14 season.

But Milwaukee's playoff struggles will come to an end this year, as it will notch its first postseason series win since 2001, beginning with a Game 1 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 06:  Mike Budenholzer of the Milwaukee Bucks discusses with George Hill #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks in the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Fiserv Forum on April 06, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  NOTE TO USER: User expre
Quinn Harris/Getty Images

"The playoffs bring pressure," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com). "Now is the time when you've got to execute defensively and offensively. There's no 'two weeks from now we need to get better' or 'a month from now.' Every team feels that pressure, the sense of the playoffs. I think our guys are excited about that and the coaching staff the same."

The NBA's regular-season scoring leader will open the final game of Sunday's slate, as James Harden (36.1 points per game) leads the Houston Rockets against the Utah Jazz. It will be a competitive series, but Harden's talent won't allow the Rockets to get eliminated in the first round, and they'll start on the right note with a Game 1 victory.

The Oklahoma City Thunder may be the lower-seeded team most likely to notch a first-round series win this postseason. And whether George (28.0 points per game, second in the NBA) plays or not, they'll open the playoffs with a Game 1 win.

However, according to ESPN.com's Royce Young, George said he expects to play Sunday.

The first game of the day features the first-round series that should be the most competitive among those beginning Sunday. However, the Boston Celtics are going to edge the Indiana Pacers in a long series, and they'll start with a Game 1 win.

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