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2021 NBA Playoff Schedule: Matchups, Dates, Times

The 2021 NBA playoffs officially get underway later this week, following the conclusion of the play-in tournament.

A number of players and teams who have performed poorly in past playoffs are chasing redemption, while newcomers are hungry to make their mark. 

Here’s what you need to know heading into the postseason:

What are the matchups?

Eastern Conference:

  • No. 1 76ers vs. Winner of Wizards-Pacers play-in tournament game
  • No. 2 Nets vs. No. 7 Celtics
  • No. 3 Bucks vs. No. 6 Heat
  • No. 4 Knicks vs. No. 5 Hawks

Western Conference:

  • No. 1 Jazz vs. Winner of West No. 7-8 loser vs. West No. 9-10 winner
  • No. 2  Suns vs. Winner of Lakers-Warriors Play-In Game
  • No. 3 Nuggets vs. No. 6 Trail Blazers
  • No. 4 Clippers vs. No. 5 Mavericks

When do the games start?

The first round of the 2021 NBA playoffs begins on Saturday, May 22. The Nets-Celtics, Bucks-Heat, Mavericks-Clippers and Trail Blazers-Nuggets series will all begin on Saturday.

NBA Playoffs: Who Needs A Legacy Bump?

The 76ers series, Jazz series, Suns series, Knicks-Hawks series will all begin on Sunday. 

How can I watch the playoffs?

NBA playoff games will once again be broadcast by ESPN, TNT and NBA TV. First- and second-round games will be shown across both networks. ESPN/ABC will broadcast the Western Conference finals while TNT will air the Eastern Conference finals. Every NBA Finals game will be shown exclusively on ABC.

More NBA Coverage:

How the Jazz Turned Into A Serious Threat
NBA’s Superfans Are Ready for the Playoffs
What Happened to Coach-Star Relationships?
NBA Playoffs: Who Needs A Legacy Bump?


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