NBA Playoff Schedule 2022: 1st-Round TV Info and Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 8, 2022

NBA Playoff Schedule 2022: 1st-Round TV Info and Predictions

0 of 3

    D. Ross Cameron/Associated Press

    Last year, the Phoenix Suns were two wins away from a first NBA title in franchise history. This season, they've bounced back by posting the best record in the league and breaking the team win record. Could they end up as the champions in June?

    The most recent team to win back-to-back titles was the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Will the Milwaukee Bucks join them by capturing a second straight championship this year?

    Or maybe another strong team will win the title. The Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat have both impressed this season, and they're both capable of making deep runs through the postseason.

    We'll soon find out, with the final day of regular-season games set for Sunday. Then, it will be time for the play-in tournament, in which eight teams (the Nos. 7-10 seeds in each conference) will be participating in that event, which will begin Tuesday.

    Here's an early look at the upcoming postseason schedule, followed by some predictions for the playoffs.

Upcoming Postseason Schedule

1 of 3

    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    The NBA has yet to release the schedule for the play-in tournament and the first round of the playoffs. According to SportsMediaWatch, though, this is how the postseason will get started:


    Play-In Tournament

    Tuesday, April 12

    7:30 p.m. ET on TNT

    10 p.m. ET on TNT


    Wednesday, April 13

    7:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

    10:05 p.m. ET on ESPN


    Thursday, April 14

    TBD on TNT


    Friday, April 15

    7 p.m. ET on ESPN


    First Round

    Saturday, April 16

    1:10 p.m. ET on ESPN

    3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

    6 p.m. ET on ESPN

    8:30 p.m. ET on ABC


    Sunday, April 17

    3 p.m. ET on ABC

    5 p.m. ET on TNT

    7:30 p.m. ET on TNT

    10 p.m. ET on TNT

West Prediction: Suns Will Make Another Run to NBA Finals

2 of 3

    Brandon Dill/Associated Press

    It's been a dominant season for the Suns, which are 63-17 with two regular-season games to play. That means they could end up with 65 wins. Of the 21 teams in NBA history to reach that mark, 15 have gone on to win the championship that season.

    Even if Phoenix doesn't end the regular season with two more victories, it has a strong chance of lifting the NBA title. The Suns haven't lost more than two games in a row all season, and that's only happened for them four times, which underlines how consistently strong they have been.

    Devin Booker (26.7 points per game) is one of the top scorers in the league. Deandre Ayton (17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds per game) is having another strong season. Chris Paul (14.7 points and 10.7 assists per game) is still playing at a high level while providing veteran leadership. And several other Phoenix players are filling important roles for the team.

    It's going to be difficult to beat the Suns in a playoff series, especially because they haven't been losing games in bunches at any point this season. And that's why no Western Conference team is going to be able to take them down again this postseason.

    Memphis doesn't have enough playoff experience, and Golden State could be in trouble if Stephen Curry doesn't get healthy. None of the other top teams in the West can likely keep up with Phoenix.

    Don't be surprised if the Suns end up celebrating with the Larry O'Brien Trophy to end the season.

East Prediction: 76ers Will Become Team to Watch in Playoffs

3 of 3

    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    While the Suns ran away with the best record in the West, things have been more competitive at the top of the Eastern Conference. The Heat will likely end up with the No. 1 seed, but the Bucks, Celtics and 76ers aren't far behind them and continue to battle for playoff positioning.

    Any of these teams could emerge as the Eastern champion and make it to the NBA Finals. So, which one will it be? The prediction here is Philadelphia.

    The 76ers have made it to the playoffs each of the past four seasons, but they haven't gone further than the second round in any of those years. They haven't made it beyond that point since 2001, when they reached the NBA Finals and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

    This year could be different for Philadelphia, though. Joel Embiid is having a huge season, averaging 30.4 points and 11.6 rebounds through 66 games, and he has a star guard playing alongside him in James Harden. Since joining the 76ers midseason, he has averaged 21.4 points, 10.1 assists and 7.4 rebounds in 19 games.

    Tobias Harris (17.5) and Tyrese Maxey (17.3) have also been solid scoring threats, so the 76ers' rotation is going to be difficult for opposing teams to guard throughout the postseason.

    The Sixers haven't won a championship since 1983, but they're going to get an opportunity to play for it this year. It should be exciting to watch them make a deep playoff run, as Embiid and Harden are going to show why they're among the NBA's best players.