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Dates, times set for Eastern Conference playoffs first games

Apr 13, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

Orlando Magic v Boston Celtics, Game 6 Getty Images

While the West is still trying to figure out who plays whom, the Eastern Conference has moved on to when.

At least for the first games. The league has released the dates and times for the first games of those four series.

Chicago and Indiana will tip off at noon Saturday (11 a.m. in Chicago) for the first game of that sweep series. The game can be seen on ESPN.

That will be followed by Philadelphia at Miami, starting at 3:30 Eastern Saturday on ABC. Interesting that the Heat got the prime Saturday slot over the next game on this list, says something about that team’s drawing power.

New York and Boston will tip off Sunday at 7p.m. Eastern Sunday on TNT, with that game played in Boston.

Also Sunday at 7 p.m., but on ESPN, Atlanta will play at Orlando.

The dates for the rest of the games in those series will likely not be released until Thursday.

One thing we can infer from this — the Lakers will get the prime 3:30 Eastern slot on Sunday, regardless of who they face. The Lakers have traditionally gotten that slot in recent years but there was some thought that a Knicks/Celtics series could bump it. Apparently not.

  1. blackglass3 - Apr 13, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Hate to break this to you, but Easter isn’t this coming Sunday it’s the next one.

    • pdub923 - Apr 13, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      Hate to break this to you, but you might need to reread the article carefully and think about your post.

      • savocabol1 - Apr 13, 2011 at 4:28 PM

        “7p.m. Eastern Sunday”

        I am guesing you read that as 7pm EASTER Sunday. Ouch.

  2. hnirobert3 - Apr 13, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    “Interesting that the Heat got the prime Saturday slot over the next game on this list, says something about that team’s drawing power.”

    Why is this interesting? Didn’t most of the top rated regular season games this year involve the Heat (off the top of my head: LBJ returning to Cleveland, Opening Night and LA/MIA Christmas Day)?

    Here’s a stat:
    ESPN’s 2.2 national rating for its five Heat games is the highest for any team, with the Knicks, Lakers and Magic tied for second at 1.8. For ABC’s games, the Heat’s three games have averaged a 4.0 nationally, second behind the Lakers’ 4.8. TNT won’t say if the Heat is its most-watched team, but three of its five highest-rated games this season involved Miami.

    • savocabol1 - Apr 13, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      I don’t understand why the 3:30pm EST on a Saturday is considered a prime Saturday slot? Most people who have no real vested interest in the playoffs will be spending Saturday afternoons running errands, enjoying outside, etc. The prime Saturday slot in my mind would be in the 7-9pm EST range when people can have parties and make a night out of it.

  3. nelson8403 - Apr 13, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    The Bulls game starts at noon on ESPN, its 1 PM Eastern, which makes Noon central not 11 am central

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