NBA Releases First Round Playoff Schedule

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  • The NBA playoffs will start on August 17, 2020.
  • The first round match-ups have been set except for the 1 vs. 8 in the Western Conference.
  • The Portland Trail Blazers will take one the Memphis Grizzlies in a play-in tournament to determine the 8th seed in the West.

After the COVID-19 delay, the NBA Playoffs are here.

The bubble tournament seeding games are down to the last playdate and with all but one of the eight first round playoff matches set, the NBA has released the schedule for the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs:

Bucks Are Top Seed in East

Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are the #1 seed for the second consecutive season. Milwaukee finished the regular season with a record 56-17. They will face the Orlando Magic who are in the postseason for the second straight year. Milwaukee swept their season series 4-0 and the last time that Orlando beat Milwaukee was on February 9, 2019.

Series Odds

  • Matchup Odds
  • Milwaukee Bucks -10000
  • Orlando Magic +1300

Milwaukee defeated Orlando by double digits in three of four meetings, including a 32-point win on November 1, 2019. The Bucks’ top rated defense held the Magic to 101 or fewer points while scoring an average of 113.75 points per game in four meetings. Antetokounmpo averaged 26.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in three games played against Oralndo.

The defending champions Toronto Raptors are the second seed in the East. They will take on the Brooklyn Nets in Round One of the playoffs. The Raptors beat the Nets 3-1 in their season series and will look to take advantage of the short-handed Nets.

Series Odds

  • Matchup Odds
  • Toronto Raptors -3335
  • Brooklyn Nets +1100

Brooklyn is without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, and Wilson Chandler. Meanwhile, the Raptors have plenty of firepower with Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and Kyle Lowry leading the charge for the 2019 NBA champions.

The most anticipated first round-battle in the East will be the #3 Boston Celtics and #6 Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers beat the Celtics in their first three meetings of the season but lost in their Feb 1 meeting 116-95. The key here is Philly playing without Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid bannged up during the seeding games. Boston is favored over the Sixers:

Series Odds

  • Matchup Odds
  • Philadelphia 76ers +270
  • Boston Celtics -375

Lastly, Heat and the Pacers will be an interesting match-up between the 4th and 5th seeds. Miami leads the season series 3-0 and the teams still have one more meeting on Friday, August 14th at 4p.m. The odds for this series have not yet been released as of this writing.

Lakers Best in the West

Out West, the Los Angeles Lakers are the best team in the conference and they will take on a still undetermined opponent in the first round. The Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers will be competing in a play-in tournament to determine the 8th seed. The winner of the play-in tournament will face the Lakers in round one of the playoffs.

The second seed in the West are the Lakers’ cross town rival Clippers. Steve Ballmer’s team was the preseason favorites to win the NBA title but injuries have limited this team to 11 total games with a complete roster. The Clippers still have key players on their injured list but they are still favored to win their opening round series against the Dallas Mavericks:

Series Odds

  • Matchup Odds
  • L.A. Clippers -560
  • Dallas Mavericks +370

Denver finished with the third best record in the West and they will face the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The Nuggets swept the Jazz 3-0 in their season series but all three contests were close with Denver’s aggregate winning margin being 11 points. The Nuggets are slightly favored to win the series:

Series Odds

  • Matchup Odds
  • Denver Nuggets -195
  • Utah Jazz +150

The Houston Rockets will take on the OKC Thunder in the last first round series in the Western Conference. Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul will face their former teams in this matchup, although the former is expected to miss the start of the playoffs with a quad injury. The odds for this matchup aren’t out yet.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher.