Bulls, Heat take court Saturday for NBA playoff openers
New York, NY, United States (AHN Sports) – The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat will open up their opening-round playoff series on Saturday while the Los Angeles Lakers will begin their drive for another crown Sunday as the NBA playoffs get underway.
Guaranteed the home court advantage at least throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bulls will open up their series against the 8th-seeded Philadelphia 76ers Sunday (1 p.m E.T) at the United Center.
The opening-round of the playoffs also features the rebirth of classic postseason rivalry between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks.
The Heat defeated the New York in all three contests in the regular-season but the suddenly defensive-minded Knicks will give the Sunshine State powerhouse a run for its money in the postseason. Their series starts Saturday (3 p.m E.T) at American Airlines Arena.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers will start their quest for 18th NBA championship Sunday against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center.
The Lakers won their regular-season against the Nuggets (3-1) but the seven-game suspension slapped on Metta World Peace could affect their play, particularly in their defense. Game 1 starts Sunday at 3:30 p.m ET.
No.3 seed Indiana Pacers will also make their second straight playoff appearance as they will go up against the Orlando Magic, who will play without bigman Dwight Howard (back injury).
Game 1 of the Pacers-Magic series starts Saturday (7 p.m ET) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse while the Boston Celtics begin their last campaign for another title against the Atlanta Hawks Sunday (7 p,m) at TD Garden.
Western Conference regular-season champion San Antonio Spurs will commence their series against the Utah Jazz Sunday (8 p.m ET) at AT&T Center.
Meanwhile, the tasty series between the young and talented Oklahoma City Thunder and the seasoned Dallas Mavericks takes place Saturday (9:30 p.m ET) at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Lastly, the Los Angeles Clippers will make their first playoff appearance in six years against the Memphis Grizzlies. Game 1 of the series starts Sunday (9.30 pm) at FedEx Forum.