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  1. We’ve got your Western Conference playoff schedule here

    Apr 14, 2011, 12:25 PM EDT

    Mark Cuban

    I keep saying it because I believe it — one of the top four seeds in the West is going to get knocked off in the first round. Not sure who, but the Dallas/Portland and Oklahoma City/Denver matchups are going to be tough ones. (Sorry Cuban, but you know us Internet reporters…) Well, tough for…

  2. NBA Playoff Preview: Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans

    Apr 14, 2011, 11:42 AM EDT

    Pau Gasol, Willie Green

    SEASON RECORDS Lakers: 57-25 (No. 2 seed) Hornets: 46-36 (No. 7 seed) SEASON SERIES Lakers sweep 4-0. KEY INJURIES Lakers: Andrew Bynum, he has a bone bruise in his surgically-repaired right knee due to a fall Tuesday night against San Antonio, he said he could play but the Lakers may be cautious with Game 1;…

  3. How they can win it all: The Dallas Mavericks

    Apr 14, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Washington Wizards

    Of all of this year’s contending teams, the Dallas Mavericks are perhaps the most improbable champions. Their trials begin in the first round, as the Mavs are rewarded for winning the West’s No. 3 seed with a tough matchup against the Portland Trailblazers. Should they take care of business against Portland, Dallas would likely have…

  4. PBT’s NBA playoff previews — the first round

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:42 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers Media Day

    There is going to be a first-round upset. One of the top four seeds somewhere — probably in the deep Western Conference, but Boston may be a little nervous — is going to get beat. To help you better understand what is about to happen this weekend, we present ProBasketballTalk’s NBA Playoff previews for the…

  5. How they can win it all: The Miami Heat

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat

    Forget the narrative. Forget the plot that turned LeBron James into a villain for changing zip codes, forget the half-baked media criticism without warrant, and forget the lazy reactions to Miami’s relative struggles at various points in the season. This Heat team is positively fantastic, and though they don’t come to the playoffs without flaws,…

  6. How they can win it all: The Oklahoma City Thunder

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:20 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

    How did we forget about the Oklahoma City Thunder? After Kevin Durant‘s season-long coming-out party last season and the tough fight the young Thunder put up against the eventual champion Lakers, the Thunder were everyone’s pick to put it all together and establish themselves as one of the league’s elite teams this season. They did…

  7. NBA Playoff Preview: San Antonio vs. Memphis

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:12 AM EDT

    Tony Parker, Shane Battier, Mike Conley

    SEASON RECORDS Spurs: 61-21 (No. 1 seed) Grizzlies: 46-36 (No. 8 seed) SEASON SERIES Tied: 2-2, with each team winning both games on their home court. Tony Parker missed one of the Spurs losses, Tim Duncan the other. KEY INJURIES Spurs: Manu Ginobili, the two guard from Argentina that is key to the Spurs chances…

  8. How they can win it all: The Chicago Bulls

    Apr 14, 2011, 10:05 AM EDT

    Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Keith Bogans

    Coming into this season, the Heat, The Lakers, and The Celtics were supposed to rule the NBA. After 82 games, the Chicago Bulls are coming into the playoffs with the best record in the league. They don’t have as much championship experience as some of the other top contenders, but they’re talented, young, hungry, and…

  9. Video: Top 10 plays of the regular season (plus a few more)

    Apr 14, 2011, 9:03 AM EDT

    Blake Griffin Dunk

    What a regular season. There were amazing finishes, amazing passes, spectacular dunks. And there was Blake Griffin. So to close out the regular season, we bring you the top 10 plays of the regular season. Well, really the top 10 categories of the regular season, that way some extra plays could be squeezed in there.…

  10. NBA Playoff Preview: Orlando vs. Atlanta

    Apr 14, 2011, 4:53 AM EDT

    Gilbert Arenas, Jeff Teague

    SEASON RECORDS Magic: 52-30 (No. 4 seed) Hawks: 44-38(No. 5 seed) SEASON SERIES Hawks 3-1 KEY INJURIES Magic: J.J. Redick, missed 16 straight games with an abdomen issue but is expected back for playoffs; Gilbert Arenas’ knees are, well, still Gilbert Arenas’ knees, but more days off in playoffs should help him; Daniel Orton is…

  11. Video: Kings announcers, fans say good-bye

    Apr 14, 2011, 4:43 AM EDT

    Arco Arena

    This is a video of the Sacramento Kings’ broadcasters signing off for what may be the final time. After tonight’s heartbreaking loss to the Lakers, Kings fans stayed in their seats well after the game was over. They chanted that they were staying. The players came out to address the fans. In situations like this,…

  12. NBA Playoff Preview: Boston vs. New York

    Apr 14, 2011, 4:39 AM EDT

    Celtics' Pierce drives into defense of Knicks' Anthony during the first half of their NBA basketball game in New York

    SEASON RECORDS Celtics: 56-26 (No. 3 seed) Knicks: 42-40 (No. 6 seed) SEASON SERIES Celtics sweep 4-0, but know that two games were in December and one was a meaningless game played largely by substitutes on the last night of the season. So, three of the four have no real bearing on the playoff games…

  13. NBA Playoff Preview: Chicago vs. Indiana

    Apr 14, 2011, 4:19 AM EDT

    Josh McRoberts, Derrick Rose

    SEASON RECORDS Bulls: 62-20 (No. 1 seed in East) Pacers: 37-45 (No. 8 seed) SEASON SERIES Bulls 3-1, with the Pacers winning the most recent when Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough just took over. OFFENSE/DEFENSE RANKING (points per 100 possessions) Bulls: Off. 105.4 (12th in NBA); Def. 97.4 (1st in NBA) Pacers: Off. 101.8 (23rd…

  14. NBA Playoff Preview: Miami vs. Philadelphia

    Apr 14, 2011, 3:58 AM EDT

    Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat

    SEASON RECORDS Heat:  58-24 (No. 2 seed) 76ers: 41-41  (No. 7 seed) SEASON SERIES Miami swept the season series, winning all three contests by an average of just over 10 points per game. If there’s a bright side for the Sixers, it’s that two of the three meetings came very early in the season, before…

  15. Season’s wild final night shows why playoffs will be must-watch

    Apr 14, 2011, 2:11 AM EDT

    Kobe Bryant, Lakers

    It was the last game on the last night of the regular season — and nobody wanted it to end. Not the  fans in Sacramento, who were loud and would not leave at the end of a wild game. Wild in every way — the shots were wild, the setting was wild,  that this last…

  16. Manu Ginobili leaves game with elbow injury

    Apr 13, 2011, 11:36 PM EDT

    manu-elbow-injury

    The Spurs played their regular starting lineup in their season finale against the Suns on Wednesday, after resting four of the five in the team’s game the night before in Los Angeles. Two minutes and 14 seconds into the game, it’s quite possible Gregg Popovich may have regretted that decision. Manu Ginobili went down hard…

  17. We’ve got your Eastern Conference playoff schedule right here

    Apr 13, 2011, 10:58 PM EDT

    Knicks' Anthony stands near Celtics' Pierce in third quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York

    Earlier today we teased you with just the first games from the Eastern Conference playoffs — giving you time to rearrange your book club meeting Sunday night so as not to miss the Knicks and Celtics. Now, here are the full scheduled dates for the first round. However, the times on some of these games…

  18. Knicks to start Turiaf at center in playoffs against Boston

    Apr 13, 2011, 9:53 PM EDT

    Ronny Turiaf, Mike D'Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni looks across the court at the Boston Celtics and knows that Shaquille O’Neal is going to lineup at center come Sunday night when the playoff series opens. He’s countering with Ronny Turiaf, who will start for the Knicks at center in the series, D’Antoni announced Wednesday, according to ESPNNewYork.com. “Because I think we…

  19. Kobe fined $100K for “distasteful term” used toward referee

    Apr 13, 2011, 6:16 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant reacts during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs in Los Angeles

    Kobe Bryant’s emotional use of a derogatory slang term toward gays aimed at a referee Tuesday night — caught and shown to a national television audience — has led to a hefty fine from David Stern and the league office. “Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable,” Stern said in a…

  20. Pistons’ Villanueva suspended five games for losing it on court

    Apr 13, 2011, 5:46 PM EDT

    Charlie Villanueva

    Charlie Villanueva earned this one. The Pistons reserve has been suspended five games, the league announced, after security — and eventually the police — had to keep him from going after Cleveland’s Ryan Hollins after a foul Monday night. Villanueva will sit out the Pistons season finalie against the 76ers Wednesday, as well as the…

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