We bring you this so you know when to clear out your schedule for the next couple weeks. Or at least when to set your DVR.
Here is the schedule for all eight first round NBA playoff series. The time and station for the later series remains up in the air (due to some series going longer than others), but you get the idea.
All times Eastern.
San Antonio vs. Dallas
Game 1 – Sun at San Antonio 1:00PM TNT
Game 2 – Wed at San Antonio 8:00PM NBA TV
Game 3 – Sat at Dallas 4:30PM TNT
Game 4 – April 28 at Dallas 9:30PM TNT
Game 5 * April 30 at San Antonio TBD
Game 6 * May 2 at Dallas TBD
Game 7 * May 4 at San Antonio TBD
Oklahoma City vs. Memphis
Game 1 – Sat at Oklahoma City 9:30PM ESPN
Game 2 – Mon at Oklahoma City 8:00PM TNT
Game 3 – Thu at Memphis 8:00PM TNT
Game 4 – Sat at Memphis 9:30PM ESPN
Game 5 * April 29 at Oklahoma City TBD
Game 6 * May 1 at Memphis TBD
Game 7 * May 3 at Oklahoma City TBD TNT
L.A. Clippers vs. Golden State
Game 1 – Sat at L.A. Clippers 3:30PM ABC
Game 2 – Mon at L.A. Clippers 10:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Thu at Golden State 10:30PM TNT
Game 4 – April 27 at Golden State 3:30PM ABC
Game 5 * April 29 at L.A. Clippers TBD
Game 6 * May 1 at Golden State TBD
Game 7 * May 3 at L.A. Clippers TBD TNT
Houston vs. Portland
Game 1 – Sun at Houston 9:30PM TNT
Game 2 – Wed at Houston 9:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Fri at Portland 10:30PM ESPN
Game 4 – April 27 at Portland 9:30PM TNT
Game 5 * April 30 at Houston TBD
Game 6 * May 2 at Portland TBD
Game 7 * May 4 at Houston TBD
Indiana vs. Atlanta
Game 1 – Sat at Indiana 7:00PM ESPN
Game 2 – Tue at Indiana 7:00PM TNT
Game 3 – Thu at Atlanta 7:00PM NBA TV
Game 4 – April 26 at Atlanta 2:00PM TNT
Game 5 * April 28 at Indiana 8:00PM NBA TV
Game 6 * May 1 at Atlanta TBD
Game 7 * May 3 at Indiana TBD TNT
Miami vs. Charlotte
Game 1 – Sun at Miami 3:30PM ABC
Game 2 – Wed at Miami 7:00PM TNT
Game 3 – April 26 at Charlotte 7:00PM ESPN
Game 4 – April 28 at Charlotte 7:00PM TNT
Game 5 * April 30 at Miami TBD
Game 6 * May 2 at Charlotte TBD
Game 7 * May 4 at Miami TBD
Toronto vs. Brooklyn
Game 1 – Sat at Toronto 12:30PM ESPN
Game 2 – Tue at Toronto 7:30PM NBA TV
Game 3 – Fri at Brooklyn 7:00PM ESPN2
Game 4 – April 27 at Brooklyn 7:00PM TNT
Game 5 * April 30 at Toronto TBD
Game 6 * May 2 at Brooklyn TBD
Game 7 * May 4 at Toronto TBD
Chicago vs. Washington
Game 1 – Sun at Chicago 7:00PM TNT
Game 2 – Tue at Chicago 9:30PM TNT
Game 3 – Fri at Washington 8:00PM ESPN
Game 4 – April 27 at Washington 1:00PM ABC
Game 5 * April 29 at Chicago TBD
Game 6 * May 1 at Washington TBD
Game 7 * May 3 at Chicago TBD TNT
Shortly after the Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg and promoted Jim Boylen to head coach, Boylen said Chicago players weren’t in shape. Boylen has tried to fix that with lengthy and intense practices – including one scheduled for yesterday, the day after a back-to-back. But Bulls players rebelled with a threatened boycott then ultimately compromised on a team meeting in lieu of practice.
The details of that standoff are something.
Vincent Goodwill and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
When Boylen arrived Sunday, the players stood and told Boylen they weren’t practicing, sources said, with the sides meeting to express their issues. Zach LaVine and Justin Holiday were the most vocal, sources said.
Boylen repeatedly referenced his days on the San Antonio Spurs staff and instances in which coach Gregg Popovich pulled all five players off the floor to send a message, sources said.
A player responded, sources said, telling Boylen in essence that they aren’t the Spurs and, more importantly, he isn’t Popovich.
The wildest part of all this: The Bulls already said they plan to keep Boylen as head coach next season. They’re not treating him as an interim.
But Boylen must dig himself out of a hole just to make it through the rest of this season.
Popovich can be hard on his players, but he has also proven that, if they buy in, he’ll help them perform at a high level. Boylen hasn’t. Absent demonstrated Xs-and-Os and developmental acumen, he just comes across as overbearing. NBA players don’t want to be treated like children.
The Bulls even complained to the players’ union, according to Goodwill and Haynes.
In the reported exchange, Boylen sounded like David Fizdale with Marc Gasol. The former Grizzlies coach and current Knicks coach had to learn from that.
Boylen could grow from this, too. But he put himself behind the eight ball with his harsh start.
When Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the Cavaliers last year, LeBron James told the Cavs not to trade the disgruntled star. But LeBron also made no effort to win over Irving.
If that weren’t unhelpful enough…
Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report:
League sources say that when James became convinced Irving couldn’t be persuaded to stay in Cleveland, he suggested to the Cavs front office that it deal Irving to the Blazers for All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. The Cavs never called the Blazers
Of course LeBron wanted Lillard. Lillard is very good, even better than Irving.
But that deal probably wouldn’t appeal to the Trail Blazers. Though Irving is younger and cheaper, Lillard is locked up two additional seasons. That greater team control is huge.
Perhaps, the Cavs could have bridged the gap in Irving’s and Lillard’s values by sending draft picks to and/or taking bad contracts from Portland. LeBron left Cleveland for the Lakers after last season, anyway. Long-term issues like lost picks and toxic contracts weren’t necessarily his problem. It’s more understandable the Cavaliers resisted.*
*However, a team with an all-time great like LeBron in his problem should have been more committed to winning a title last season than they were. Those opportunities come along only so often.
What makes this particularly interesting: The Lakers are trying to get another star. Does LeBron still want to play with Lillard? The Trail Blazers insist they’re keeping Lillard, and he has repeatedly said he wants to stay in Portland. But LeBron wanting Lillard in Los Angeles could be the seed that grows into something bigger.
A rumor emerged the Knicks could be looking to trade for Wizards point guard John Wall.
That always seemed dubious. Marc Berman of the New York Post cited “Some in the league believe.”
But now comes the counter-leak, anyway…
Ian Begley of ESPN:
This is an overcorrection that only makes the Knicks look worse. Not internally discussing a trade candidate does not inspire confidence. Sound organizations evaluate their options. The Knicks should discuss Wall internally.
They should also likely conclude it’s not worth trading for him.
Wall is due about $171 million over the next four seasons. He’ll be 29 when that super-max contract extension kicks in, and he already looks hurt, lazy and grouchy.
Maybe if the Knicks still had Joakim Noah to trade, it might makes sense, though still probably not. As is, New York doesn’t have enough bad contracts to match Wall’s toxic del.
So, I don’t expect New York – or anyone – to trade for Wall. But I’d be more encouraged by the Knicks if they internally discussed this then passed on Wall. If we’re to believe this latest leak,* who knows what they’ll decide if they ever talk about Wall?
*Which I don’t, for what it’s worth. I suspect even the Knicks at least discussed why trading for Wall was a bad idea.
The Nuggets have so many injured backcourt players – Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas (plus forwards Paul Millsap, Michael Porter, Jarred Vanderbilt are also hurt).
Denver is adding a reinforcement – Nick Young.
Young has had a rough go since winning a championship with the Warriors last season. The 33-year-old is probably on his last legs as an NBA player.
But Denver needs someone. Young might still be serviceable. He can make 3-pointers, though he defends like a sieve and doesn’t contribute much else offensively. With the ball running through Nikola Jokic, maybe that will be enough – until better Nuggets get healthy.