NBA playoffs set to start

The first-round matchups for the NBA playoffs are set. Eight of 16 teams in the postseason tournament are set to begin their quest for the title on Monday, Aug. 17.

The No. 1 seeds for the NBA playoffs are the Milwaukee Bucks (56-17) in the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Lakers (52-19) in the Western Conference at the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World.

NBA playoffs pairings

Monday’s series openers for the West are No. 3 Denver Nuggets (46-27) vs. No. 6 Utah Jazz (44-28), and No. 2 Los Angeles Clippers (49-23) vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks (43-32). In the East, it’s the reigning champion and No. 2 Toronto Raptors (53-19) vs. No. 7 Brooklyn Nets (35-37), and No. 3 Boston Celtics (48-24) vs. No. 6 Philadelphia 76ers (43-30).

Tuesday’s East playoff openers Milwaukee vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic (33-40), and No. 5 Miami Heat (44-29) vs. No. 4 Indiana Pacers (45-28). In the West, it’s No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder (44-28) vs. No. 4 Houston Rockets (44-28), and the Lakers vs. No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers (35-39), who nabbed the final NBA playoffs spot by beating the Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in game.

Playoff format

Despite the suspension of the season on March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when the league relaunched the season in late July it announced that the NBA playoffs’ series length would be normal. Which means they would consist of best-of-seven series, but all games are in Florida.

Portland talk

Before the relaunch, Portland head coach Terry Stotts stated that he was confident in his team’s ability to advance to the NBA playoffs.

“I think we’re capable of making the playoffs. We all believe that,” Stotts told reporters. “But we also know we have to play well to do it. We’re a confident group. It’s not about who’s picking us.”

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