NBA Playoffs Round 1: Complete Schedule and Preview

April 11, 2019 - 12:51 pm

The NBA playoffs tip off on April 13 with four games, including the Golden State Warriors beginning their pursuit of a three-peat and a fourth title in five seasons against the Los Angeles Clippers in Round 1.

More than in recent years, the most threatening challengers to the Warriors' supremacy seem to be lurking in the Eastern Conference: the 60-win Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors, the star-heavy Philadelphia 76ers, the mercurial Boston Celtics.

Here is the complete schedule for the opening round of the NBA postseason:  

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Detroit Pistons

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks swept the season series, 4-0. The Pistons eked into the playoffs with a 41-41 record, and have star forward Blake Griffin nursing a knee injury.

Game 1: Sun., April 14, 7 ET, TNT (at Milwaukee) 

Game 2: Wed., April 17, 8 ET, NBA TV (at Milwaukee)

Game 3: Sat., April 20, 8 ET, ESPN (at Detroit)

Game 4: Mon., April 22, 8 ET, TNT (at Detroit)

*Game 5: Wed., April 24, TBD, TBD (at Milwaukee)

*Game 6: Fri., April 26, TBD, TBD (at Detroit)

*Game 7: Sun., April 28, TBD, TBD (at Milwaukee)

No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Orlando Magic

The Raptors have the third-best playoff odds at the sports books, and some see Kawhi Leonard and Co. as the team to dethrone the Warriors. Steve Clifford performed minor sorcery just getting the Magic to the postseason.

Game 1: Sat., April 13, 5 ET, ESPN (at Toronto)

Game 2: Tue., April 16, 8 ET, TNT (at Toronto)

Game 3: Fri., April 19, 7 ET, ESPN (at Orlando)

Game 4: Sun., April 21, 7 ET, TNT (at Orlando)

*Game 5: Tue., April 23 , TBD, TBD (at Toronto)

*Game 6: Thu., April 25 , TBD, TBD (at Orlando)

*Game 7: Sat., April 27, TBD, TNT (at Toronto)

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets

This might be the most entertaining series of the first round. The 76ers have question marks: the health status of star center Joel Embiid for Game 1, their chemistry after midseason additions of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. The Nets can spread them out and cause problems if they knock down their 3s.  

Game 1: Sat., April 13, 2:30 ET, ESPN (at Philadelphia)

Game 2: Mon., April 15, 8 ET, TNT (at Philadelphia)

Game 3: Thu., April 18, 8 ET, TNT (at Brooklyn)

Game 4: Sat., April 20, 3 ET, TNT (at Brooklyn

*Game 5: Tue., April 23, TBD, TBD (at Philadelphia)

*Game 6: Thu., April 25 TBD, TBD (at Brooklyn)

*Game 7: Sat., April 27, TBD, TNT (at Philadelphia)

No. 4 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

The Celtics will be without guard Marcus Smart (torn oblique), a key player in a defensive-minded series. The Pacers are without Victor Oladipo, who nearly spearheaded an upset of LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers last season. 

Game 1: Sun., April 14, 1 ET, TNT (at Boston)

Game 2: Wed., April 17, 7 ET, TNT (at Boston)

Game 3: Fri., April 19, 8:30 ET, ABC (at Indiana)

Game 4: Sun., April 21, 1 ET, ABC (at Indiana)

*Game 5: Wed., April 24, TBD, TBD (at Boston)

*Game 6: Fri., April 26, TBD, TBD (at Indiana)

*Game 7: Sun., April 28, TBD, TBD (at Boston)

Western Conference 

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers

Stephen Curry is expected to play Saturday night despite tweaking his ankle on Tuesday night and missing Wednesday's regular-season finale. Are Doc Rivers' upstar Clippers ready for primetime?

Game 1: Sat., April 13, 8 ET, ABC (at Golden State)

Game 2: Mon., April 15, 10:30 ET, TNT (at Golden State)

Game 3: Thu., April 18, 10:30 ET, TNT (at Los Angeles)

Game 4: Sun., April 21, 3:30 ET, ABC (at Los Angeles)

*Game 5: Wed., April 24, TBD, TBD (at Golden State)

*Game 6: Fri., April 26, TBD, TBD (at Los Angeles)

*Game 7: Sun., April 28, TBD, TBD (at Golden State)

No. 2 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 7 San Antonio Spurs

The Nuggets rode their starters hard in Game 82 to secure the No. 2 seed, thus securing this matchup with the Spurs (and avoiding the 6-seed Thunder). Never count out a Gregg Popovich-coached squad in the seven-game series.

Game 1: Sat., April 13, 10:30 ET, ESPN (at Denver)

Game 2: Tue., April 16, 9 ET, NBA TV (at Denver)

Game 3: Thu., April 18, 9 ET, NBA TV (at San Antonio)

Game 4: Sat., April 20, 5:30 ET, TNT (at San Antonio)

*Game 5: Tue., April 23, TBD, TBD (at Denver)

*Game 6: Thu., April 25, TBD, TBD (at San Antonio)

*Game 7: Sat., April 27, TBD, TNT (at Denver)

No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder

The Blazers (accidentally) won their finale behind a career-high 37 points from rookie Anfernee Simons. They will miss starting center Jusuf Nurkic against the Thunder's defense and rebounding, plus Paul George and Russell Westbrook in their primes.

Game 1: Sun., April 14, 3:30 ET, ABC (at Portland)

Game 2: Tue., April 16, 10:30 ET, TNT (at Portland)

Game 3: Fri., April 19, 9:30 ET, ESPN (at Oklahoma City)

Game 4: Sun., April 21, 9:30 ET, TNT (at Oklahoma City)

*Game 5: Tue., April 23, TBD, TBD (at Portland)

*Game 6: Thu., April 25, TBD, TBD (at Oklahoma City)

*Game 7: Sat., April 27, TBD, TNT (at Portland)

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Utah Jazz

A rematch of a second-round series from a year ago, when the Rockets came within inches of the Finals. They split the regular-season series, 2-2. 

Game 1: Sun., April 14, 9:30 ET, TNT (at Houston)

Game 2: Wed., April 17, 9:30 ET, TNT (at Houston)

Game 3: Sat., April 20, 10:30 ET, ESPN (at Utah)

Game 4: Mon., April 22, 10:30 ET, TNT (at Utah)

*Game 5: Wed., April 24, TBD, TBD (at Houston)

*Game 6: Fri., April 26, TBD, TBD (at Utah)

*Game 7: Sun., April 28, TBD, TBD (at Houston)