Set your DVRs: The complete NBA playoff first round schedule

10 Comments

It is time to get serious. Finally. No more guys sitting out with “injuries” that exist only so David Stern won’t fine teams for resting players. No more talk of real injuries that actually have wrecked some of the fun of the season. No more Derrick Rose talk… oh, I guess that doesn’t end. But at least now we can get on with games that mean something.

Let’s get on with some playoff basketball.

So you can set your DVRs — or put alerts in your Google calendar so you know to get to the bar and watch the game — here is the full schedule for the first round of the NBA playoffs. All times are Eastern. An “*” means if necessary.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Oklahoma City vs. Houston

Game 1 – Sun April 21 at Oklahoma City 9:30PM (TNT)
Game 2 – Wed April 24 at Oklahoma City 7:00PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Sat April 27 at Houston 9:30PM (ESPN)
Game 4 – Mon April 29 at Houston TBD
Game 5 * Wed May at Oklahoma City TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3 at Houston TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5 at Oklahoma City TBD

San Antonio vs. L.A. Lakers

Game 1 – Sun April 21 at San Antonio 3:30PM (ABC)
Game 2 – Wed April 24 at San Antonio 9:30PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Fri April 26 at L.A. Lakers 10:30PM (ESPN)
Game 4 – Sun April 28 at L.A. Lakers 7:00PM (TNT)
Game 5 * Tue April 30 at San Antonio TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2 at L.A. Lakers TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4 at San Antonio TBD (TNT)

Denver vs. Golden State

Game 1 – Sat April 20 at Denver 5:30PM (ESPN)
Game 2 – Tue April 23 at Denver 10:30PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Fri April 26 at Golden State 10:30PM (ESPN2)
Game 4 – Sun April 28  at Golden State 9:30PM (TNT)
Game 5 * Tue April 30 at Denver TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2 at Golden State TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4 at Denver  TBD (TNT)

L.A. Clippers vs. Memphis

Game 1 – Sat April 20 at L.A. Clippers 10:30PM (ESPN)
Game 2 – Mon April 22 at L.A. Clippers 10:30PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Thu April 25 at Memphis 9:30PM (TNT)
Game 4 – Sat April 27 at Memphis 4:30PM (TNT)
Game 5 * Tue April 30at L.A. Clippers TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3 at Memphis TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5 at L.A. Clippers TBD

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Miami vs. Milwaukee

Game 1 – Sun April 21 at Miami  7:00PM (TNT)
Game 2 – Tue April 23 at Miami 7:30PM (NBA TV)
Game 3 – Thu April 25 at Milwaukee 7:00PM (TNT)
Game 4 – Sun April 28 at Milwaukee 3:30PM (ABC)
Game 5 * Tue April 30 at Miami TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2 at Milwaukee TBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4 at Miami TBD (TNT)

New York vs. Boston

Game 1 – Sat April 20 at New York 3:00PM (ABC)
Game 2 – Tue April 23 at New York 8:00PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Fri April 26 at Boston 8:00PM (ESPN)
Game 4 – Sun April 28 at Boston 1:00PM (ABC)
Game 5 * Wed May 1 at New York TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3  at Boston TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5 at New York TBD

Indiana vs. Atlanta

Game 1 – Sun April 21 at Indiana 1:00PM (TNT)
Game 2 – Wed April 24 at Indiana 7:30PM (NBA TV)
Game 3 – Sat April 27 at Atlanta 7:00PM (ESPN)
Game 4 – Mon April 29 at Atlanta TBD
Game 5 * Wed May 1 at Indiana TBD
Game 6 * Fri May 3 at Atlanta TBD
Game 7 * Sun May 5 at Indiana TBD

Brooklyn vs. Chicago

Game 1 – Sat April 20 at Brooklyn 8:00PM (ESPN)
Game 2 – Mon April 22 at Brooklyn 8:00PM (TNT)
Game 3 – Thu April 25 at Chicago 8:30PM (NBA TV)
Game 4 – Sat April 27 at Chicago 12:00PM (TNT)
Game 5 * Mon April 29 at Brooklyn TBD
Game 6 * Thu May 2 at Chicago TTBD
Game 7 * Sat May 4 at Brooklyn TBD (TNT)

Stan Van Gundy talks up Pistons’ rookie Luke Kennard

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Luke Kennard came out of Duke with one of the best jump shots in the draft — he’s got a skill that translates to the NBA and will help the Pistons. The questions were about his defense and athleticism, but he started to answer those when he averaged 17.2 points a game in the Orlando Summer League. He hit threes but generally just looks like a guy who just knows how to get buckets.

So far, at the Pistons’ training facility and in the Orlando Summer League, coach and decision maker with the Pistons Stan Van Gundy likes what he sees from his rookie, he told the Pistons’ official website.

“Pretty much what we thought offensively, maybe even did a better job passing the ball than I thought,” Van Gundy said. “He’s able to make plays off the dribble , that nice change of pace, and things I hadn’t seen a lot of. He really has a great feel for the game and how to play in addition to clearly his ability to shoot the ball….

“We’ve seen that a lot. He’s got great mental toughness,” Van Gundy said. “The thing I have great confidence in is that as he runs into challenges in the league – and everybody does and he’ll be no exception – I just think he’s a smart guy who’s adaptable. I think he’ll figure out a way to combat it. I’ve got great confidence in his ability to do that….

“The thing I didn’t know that he showed me is he has the ability to move his feet defensively. Now, he’s still got a long way to go in terms of handling some of the other things, rotations and things like that. But he certainly showed that he can get down in a stance and move his feet. I did not have a good feel for that going into the draft, so that was a positive.”

Yes, you should take a coach talking up a rookie before a game is played with a grain of salt.

However, the comment about the potential to defend is good news. SVG is right that mental toughness, and willingness to put in the work, is what will allow Kennard to take steps forward, but he has to have a baseline to get there and Van Gundy thinks he has that. Kennard has challenges ahead of him but if he can keep hitting shots the Pistons will give him time to work out everything else.

Kennard is going to get plenty of run as the backup to Avery Bradley at the two in Detroit. In with a second unit of guys like Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver, Kennard is going to get his chances to score. He could put up decent numbers for a rookie.

 

John Wall has a strong arm, can throw a tight spiral (VIDEO)

Getty Images
Leave a comment

If the Redskins need a quarterback should Kirk Cousins go down — he has played a full 16-game schedule the past two years, which is pretty remarkable — maybe rather than Colt McCoy Washington should look at the guy who makes the Wizards’ go.

John Wall showed on Friday he has a strong arm, can throw a tight spiral, and hit his man.

I love that Wall starts calling out Tom Brady after one good pass.

Michael Beasley had his truck stolen out of his driveway

Getty Images
4 Comments

Michael Beasley will be getting buckets, shooting long twos, and playing inconsistent defense for the New York Knicks next season (the analysis is just based on recent history).

But first, he’d like to find his truck. Which was stolen.

Well, I did see a Dodge Ram 1500 on the road today, but since I’m on the West Coast and I have no idea what color/year Beasley’s truck is, I’m going to assume the guy I saw didn’t perpetrate the heist.

Still, that sucks for Beasley, even if he can easily afford to replace it.

Kevin Durant gets into Twitter debate with reporter over White House comments

9 Comments

Kevin Durant became the latest Warrior — joining Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston, that we know of — to say he would not visit President Donald Trump’s White House as NBA champion. Which is all kind of moot because it’s unlikely the White House invites them and outspoken Trump critic/Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his players any way. (The White House’s biggest concern should be that Kerr accepts the invitation and uses that platform to challenge the president’s policies and style in front of him.)

Durant’s comments led to plenty of talk on sports talk radio and around the sports world online about whether a player or team should decline an invitation from the president. It’s not a new debate, Tom Brady denied that politics is why he didn’t visit Barack Obama’s White House (although I’m not sure many believed him), but KD’s on a big stage now so it became a talking point.

Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry questioned a player not visiting the White House, and Durant responded, leading to a little Twitter back-and-forth.

Durant had previously Tweeted in response “by doing the opposite, I am inspiring more people” but that Tweet was deleted.

There is no one correct way to protest a person/policy/action, McHenry may see things differently, but Durant has chosen to stay away. That’s valid — traditionally these “champions to the White House” things are tedious photo ops with a few bad jokes thrown in. Having a hoops fan/player in Obama in the White House made the NBA visits more entertaining the past eight years, there was some trash talk, but still, they are largely just a public relations moment. If KD doesn’t want to play the PR game with Trump, that’s a legitimate response.

This has all been a tempest in a teapot. Until/unless the White House actually invites the Warriors to come, it’s all kind of moot.