NBA Playoff Schedule 2015: Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans Sneak Into Playoffs

NBA playoff schedule revelations have finally been made. The 2015 NBA Playoffs are set to begin on Saturday (April 18), and there are quite a few intriguing storylines for basketball fans to follow. The stories begin with the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets sneaking into the NBA Playoffs on the final day of the regular season. The Pelicans won a very tough game against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday (April 15) to clinch the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis played almost every minute of the game, refusing to let his team miss the postseason.

The 2015 NBA playoff schedule for the West begins with the Golden State Warriors vs. New Orleans Pelicans on April 18. Start time for Game 1 is 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC. The other series from the West that begins that day is the No. 2 Houston Rockets vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks. Game 1 is at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The other two match-ups begin on Sunday (April 19) and they are the No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 6 San Antonio Spurs and the No. 4 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies host Game 1 of that series at 5 p.m. PT on TNT and the Clippers host the second game at 7:30 p.m. PT.

In the NBA playoff schedule for the Eastern Conference, the two Saturday Game 1 match-ups are the No. 3 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks, and the No. 4 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 5 Washington Wizards. The Raptors host Game 1 of their series at 12:30 p.m. ET, and then the Bulls host Game 1 of their series at 7 p.m. ET. Both games will be shown live on ESPN.

The other two Eastern Conference Game 1 match-ups take place on Sunday and are the No. 1 Atlanta Hawks vs. No. 8 Brooklyn Nets and the No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics. LeBron James and the Cavaliers host the Celtics at 3 p.m. ET with ABC providing the television coverage. TNT covers the later game at 5:30 p.m. ET when the top-seeded Hawks host the Nets. The Nets got to this point by beating the Orlando Magic to close out the regular season.

Insidehoops.com reveals that no teams will play on back-to-back days in the first-round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. In fact, the NBA playoff schedule provides several days off for each team. After playing Game 1, most teams will get two full days off before Game 2 takes place. An example is that the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets play on Sunday (April 19) and then have a break until Wednesday (April 22). Then Game 3 of that series doesn’t take place till Saturday (April 25). That’s a lot of rest between games for the Hawks and Nets.

The Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Hawks clinched home court advantage through the 2015 NBA Playoffs. Should the teams meet in the NBA Finals, the Warriors would get to host the first two games. That is quite a few games down the road, though, and it is extremely rare for the top seeds from each conference to meet for the championship. As reported previously on the Inquisitr, the No. 1 seed from the East was the Indiana Pacers in 2014, but the team couldn’t get past the Miami Heat on the way to the finals. A huge coincidence is that neither team made the 2015 playoffs.

The way the 2015 NBA playoff schedule is set up will benefit a team like the Portland Trail Blazers. They enter the postseason pretty banged up, so any off days in the schedule will give key players a chance to rest and recuperate. It could also help to get Arron Afflalo back quicker from his strained right shoulder. The days off will also help an older team like the San Antonio Spurs, as they can play all-out, and know that the next day is a chance to rest.

If the final day of the regular season is any indication of what is to come, as the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets snuck into the playoffs, then this postseason is going to be an exciting one. It could even lead to a reevaluation of how the seeding is done as within the 2015 NBA playoff schedule, the No. 5 seed in the West will host the No. 4 seed for the first two games. Despite that, the action is ready to get started on April 18.

[Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

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