In fact, there are four NBA playoff games today, not just one. As you're waiting for the best first round series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs to start, there are three other games you could watch, if you don't mind watching a lower quality of basketball.
I feel sorry for East Coast basketball fans. If they have local rooting interests, then the majority of them are rooting for bad teams. Moreover, with all the most entertaining basketball being played in the Western Conferences, they're either missing a lot of it, or missing a lot of sleep. In order to watch what figures to be the best and most entertain playoff game o the day, people in New York will have to stay up until after 1 AM. Good thing no one has to work tomorrow. Oh wait.
For what it's worth,
every home team three out of four home teams won yesterday.
Boston at Cleveland, ABC, noon
This is the National TV game today. Why? Well, the Celtics are still the Celtics I guess, and then there's LeBron James. Even so, it's hard to figure how the execs at ABC felt like it was better to show a game involving a team with a losing record than to show the Clippers and the Spurs.
Boston coach Brad Stevens has done a great job with a rag tag group of young players, and the future is very bright in Beantown. But for the present they are roadkill for the Cavs, who really should sweep this series. BTW, no team in the NBA benefits more from the East-West disparity than the Cavs -- if the postseason ignored conferences and divisions and instead seeded the top NBA 16 teams by winning percentage, Cleveland would play Dallas (50 wins) in the first round instead of Boston (40 wins).
Brooklyn at Atlanta, TNT, 2:30 PM
The Nets and Hawks kick off a triple-header on TNT that culminates with the Clippers-Spurs game. And looky there: two games so far, two teams with losing records. The Nets won 38 -- the same number as the Utah Jazz, who finished 11th in the Western Conference.
Atlanta was 40-8 at the end of an undefeated January: they are 20-14 since then. Are they vulnerable here in the first round against a 38 win Brooklyn team? Probably not.
Portland at Memphis, TNT, 5:00 PM
Today's theme should be "Teams that benefited from the NBA's bizarre playoff structure." Based on their records, even keeping the Conference structures in place, Memphis should be playing San Antonio; Portland should be playing the Clippers. Instead, these two banged up teams who stumbled into the playoffs face each other.
Memphis is 14-13 over their last 27 games. Portland is 7-11 in their last 18. And one of them will be heading to the second round. But I'm not bitter.
Both teams are beat up. Tony Allen and Mike Conley are expected to play for the Grizzlies, though they may not be 100%. Jeff Green is questionable with a bad back. Both Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have gimpy ankles right now. As for Portland, there are injury reports on fully EIGHT members of their roster. The big ones are Wesley Matthews who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles, and his backup Arron Afflalo, who is out for Game 1 at least with a sore shoulder.