Kevin C. Cox / Associated Press
The NBA knockout stages will begin in four days and 15 of the pitch’s 16 teams have been decided.
Final place will go to the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and the Phoenix Suns, who will take part in a play-in tournament to decide the Western Conference’s eighth and final seed. Memphis will play Portland if the Trail Blazers beat the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday or Phoenix if the Trail Blazers loses.
The winners of the tournament will be against LeBron James, four-time MVP NBA winners and the Los Angeles Lakers, who own Western Conference No. 1 seed.
The defending NBA MVP (and potentially the reserve MVP) Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks lead the East. They are one step ahead of defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors, who finished with second seed despite losing top scorer and defending NBA Finals champion Kawhi Leonard against the Los Angeles Clippers in freedom.
Speaking of Leonard’s Clips, they are second in the West and could set up a battle in Los Angeles for the right to the NBA Finals.
However, at this point, that was far from over. A live tournament and several post-season rounds must take place first.
Here’s what we know about the NBA qualifying fixtures so far, along with quick previews and selection of the tournament’s top team according to win-lose records at the Bucks and defending champions. in Raps.
NBA Playoff Schedule
August 15: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Memphis Phoenix Suns or Portland Trail Blazers, 2:30 pm ET on ABC
August 16: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Phoenix Suns or Portland Trail Blazers, 4:30 pm ET on ESPN (if needed)
August 17: First round start
Aug 31: Conference semi-final target start date
September 15: Conference final target start date
September 30: NBA Finals target start date
October 13: NBA Finals Match 7 (if needed)
Conference Matches East
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 8. Orlando Magic
2. The Toronto Raptors vs 7. Brooklyn Nets
3. The Boston Celtics match the 6. Philadelphia 76ers
4 or 5. Miami Heat vs. 4 or 5. Indiana Pacers
Western Conference Matches
1. Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8. Portland Trail Blazers / Phoenix Suns / Memphis Grizzlies
2. The Los Angeles Clippers play against 7. Dallas Mavericks
3. Denver Nuggets vs. 6. Utah Jazz
4 or 5. Houston Rockets vs. 4 or 5. Oklahoma City Thunder
First round match schedule
Quadrupleheaders will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays, with games taking place at 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET.
🚨 #NBAPlayoffs 2020 Round 1 Fixture 🚨 NBA Playoffs starting Monday, August 17 with day and night matches! Full schedule: https://t.co/m6M3b8qUDf https://t.co/jcheJ5HSni
ESPN will broadcast the matches on Monday and TNT will do the same on Tuesday.
ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBATV will broadcast for the post-season. ESPN will handle the Eastern Conference Finals, and TNT will do the same for the Western Conference Finals. ABC will broadcast NBA Finals.
Selected for the top fighters in the East
1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 8. Orlando Magic
The Milwaukee Bucks was once 52-8 but will enter the playoffs with a 56-17 record.
Is it the cause for the line break concern? It could be like the other East Conference teams that played much better leading up to the post-season.
But that’s not a problem for Orlando Magic, who made it to the knockout stages despite having eight games under .500.
All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic should win the low-streak with Bucks’ big man Brook Lopez, and bodyguards Evan Fournier and Terence Ross can heat up from three-point range and help the attack. Magic attack speed.
But no one on Magic (or federation) has an answer to what arguably Antetokounmpo’s greatest talent, who’s a nightmare match. The same goes for Lopez, who may not be as skilled as Vucevic but can hit three deep-pointers and block shots.
Add in the All-Star wing Khris Middleton and a group of tough bodyguards who excel at defense, including Eric Bledsoe and Donte DiVincenzo, and you’ll have a team that doesn’t have much of a problem in Round 1.
Orlando’s X factor to change that story was Aaron Gordon, who needed to be the team’s extra scorer after Vucevic. With his best ability, Gordon can pour points, take tons of games and fly up and down the pitch to hit the ball. If that Gordon shows up in the knockout round, then Magic might have a chance of stealing a game or two, especially when there isn’t a real home advantage in Disney World.
The prediction here is that Orlando will be good enough to win a match against the lethargic Bucks, just like Magic won a match with last-champion Raps in their first series last year. But Giannis and the Bucks are simply too strong and will win a streak of no more than five games.
Choose: Bucks in 5
2. The Toronto Raptors play against the Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets is 5-2 on the NBA campus despite the lack of a slew of talents including top scorer Kyrie Irving, second top scorer Spencer Dinwiddie, big man DeAndre Jordan and others. The Nets have reworked their roster for the bubble, and led by interim manager Jacque Vaughn, everything came together as Brooklyn beat a number of top teams, including the Bucks and the Clippers.
The guesswork here is that it was not a blessing.
The Nets beat the Lakers on the road in their final game before the tournament was suspended for more than four months for the COVID-19 pandemic. Sure, that team has Dinwiddie, Jordan and the others that don’t make it to Florida, but this team is clearly playing hard for Vaughn, who is eliminating everything on its roster because it excels in the face of odds. can not overcome.
The problem the Nets have is that they may have to face the league’s best team in the Raptors, who are comprehensive, deep, tested and skilled.
They simply have no weaknesses, and they are strong at both ends. They made a tight rotation, but the players at the bottom of the bench took the lead sometimes, like when Chris Boucher dropped the 25-point line, 11 times normal return against the Bucks in the bubble. .
Toronto should make the series, but it won’t be easy. Get Nets to join a pair of games and make it fun. Ultimately, the Nets won’t be able to do anything but make Vaughn their full-time coach.
Choose: Raptors in 6