The 2017 NBA playoffs bracket is finally set and fans can begin making their predictions. The 2017 NBA playoff schedule tips off on Saturday (April 15), with several first-round matchups that could make for an exciting postseason. Is it all working up to a Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors rematch in the NBA Finals? Or can teams like the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs, and Houston Rockets keep that from happening?
It took the final few games to play out in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night (April 12) to decide which teams would be the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in the final NBA playoff standings for 2017. As the results show, the Indiana Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards. Indiana clinched the No. 7 seed, leaving Chicago and Miami tied at No. 8. The Bulls won the head-to-head tiebreaker, sending the Heat home for the postseason.
As the 2017 NBA playoffs bracket shows (image below), first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference are the Boston Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks, and Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks. The Western Conference has the Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz.
2017 NBA Playoffs Ready To Begin pic.twitter.com/IfkYPFIFN8
— Ryan C. DeVault (@Ryanatac) April 13, 2017
Listed below are the opening games for each series, as well as the 2017 NBA playoff TV schedule for each matchup. There are a lot of days off within the schedule, providing additional rest for the teams. Most teams will have two full days off before Game 2 takes place next week. No series has back-to-back games either, possibly providing an advantage to teams with veterans that can play heavy minutes and then rest the following evening.
2017 NBA Playoff Schedule (Opening Weekend – All Times ET)
Game 1 – Sat. April 15 Indiana at Cleveland, 3 p.m., ABC
Game 1 – Sat. April 15 Milwaukee at Toronto, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 1 – Sat. April 15 Memphis at San Antonio, 8 p.m., ESPN
Game 1 – Sat. April 15 Utah at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Atlanta at Washington, 1 p.m., TNT
Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Portland at Golden State, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Chicago at Boston, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 1 – Sun. April 16 Oklahoma City at Houston, 9 p.m., TNT
There are already a lot of NBA playoffs predictions on social media and from basketball analysts, with the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs as heavy favorites to make the Western Conference Finals. The predictions also have the top two seeds meeting in the Eastern Conference Finals, with the Boston Celtics hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers for a chance to return to the NBA Finals.
To get back to the conference finals, the Warriors have to first beat the Portland Trail Blazers and then the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers vs. Utah Jazz series. The Cavs have to first take care of the Indiana Pacers and then the winner of the Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks series. Though the contending teams could put up a fight, the Vegas oddsmakers are all siding heavily with the Warriors and Cavaliers easily making it to the conference finals.
At one point during the season, the San Antonio Spurs overtook the Warriors for the No. 1 seed in the NBA playoff standings. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, LaMarcus Aldridge went through a health scare, missing several games due to a heart issue that curtailed the Spurs’ momentum. Despite losing Kevin Durant to an injury, the Warriors caught the Spurs and secured home court advantage through the entire 2017 NBA playoff schedule.
The regular season provided many storylines that included Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double, James Harden taking over as point guard for the Houston Rockets and leading the league in assists, and a number of major injuries that certainly affected playoff seeding. Now the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason will battle it out in the 2017 NBA playoffs bracket, all leading to the NBA Finals taking place in June.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]