Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NBA games today: Everything to know about playoff schedule on Sunday

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The remaining four Game 1s in the first round of the NBA playoffs will be played Sunday, with both conferences’ No. 1 seeds in action. The Boston Celtics finished 14 games ahead of everyone else in the East, while the Oklahoma City Thunder earned the top seed in the West on the regular season’s final day.

The Celtics will face a short-handed Miami Heat squad, who dispatched the Chicago Bulls in the play-in tournament final, and the Thunder, who are making their first postseason appearance since the 2019-20 season, will face the New Orleans Pelicans without Zion Williamson.

Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s NBA playoff games.

Who is playing in Sunday’s NBA playoff games?

How to watch Sunday’s NBA playoff games

Miami-Boston and Dallas-Los Angeles will air on ABC and can be streamed on the ESPN app. Indiana-Milwaukee and New Orleans-Oklahoma City will be shown on TNT. Streaming also available via Fubo.

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics: What to know

The Celtics ran through the Eastern Conference to the league’s best record and will face a Heat team that will be without the services of Jimmy Butler because of a knee injury. Conventional wisdom says Boston should make quick work of the No. 8 and be plenty rested whenever they start the next round.

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers: What to know

Which stars show up will determine the winner here: Will it be Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic for the Mavericks or Paul George, James Harden, and a once again gimpy Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers. It might be now or never for the Clippers as the aforementioned high-prized trio have yet to make a serious dent in the postseason in their time together.

Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks: What to know

The Bucks, like the Clippers, find themselves at a crossroads. A first-round exit again could mean wholesale changes in the offseason. The Pacers won the regular-season series 4-1, and all the meetings came before the trade deadline and the deal that sent Pascal Siakam to Indiana. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s calf injury is the big storyline here, and it will be up to Damian Lillard and the rest of the Bucks to slow down the high-flying Pacers.

New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder: What to know

With most of the playoff series, player’s health will determine the winner here. Pelicans forward Zion Williamson is out with a hamstring injury, and Oklahoma City comes in fully healthy with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander again playing at an all-NBA level. The Thunder are virtual unknowns as far as playoff experience, but they are a terrible rebounding team. If the Pelicans can control the boards and get chance opportunities, Game 1 will be ripe for the taking.

Predictions for Sunday’s playoff games

  • Scooby Axson: Boston over Miami, LA over Dallas, Indiana over Milwaukee, Oklahoma City over New Orleans

NBA playoff bracket

Western Conference

  • No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans
  • No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks
  • No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves vs. No. 6 Phoenix Suns
  • No. 2 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers

Eastern Conference

  • No. 1 Boston Celtics vs. No. 8 Miami Heat
  • No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 5 Orlando Magic
  • No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 6 Indiana Pacers
  • No. 2 New York Knicks vs. No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers

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