Quijano: 1st round National Basketball Association playoff matchups

Last season's playoffs were characterized by utter domination by the Cavs and Warriors in their respective conferences, but that might not be the case this year.

Courtney Kirkland, who was taken off the floor for a week this season after an incident with Golden State's Shaun Livingston, was selected for the postseason ref roster. Golden State went 7-10 in its final 17 games, and clearly sputtered across the finish line. And it was immediately apparent San Antonio had no chance of scoring consistently against a motivated Warriors team. Unless he can make a return, the Warriors can march themselves past the Spurs even without Stephen Curry in five games. They have similar feelings, with Thorpe suggesting that this series could be the least close of all eight first-round matchups.

Players in their 15th year tend to be winding down their careers, but a 33-year-old LeBron James is somehow stepping his up further. The NBA's grueling seven-game series nearly always favor the higher seed who also have the benefit of home-court advantage. However, in the second-to-last game of the year, the Spurs managed to break into the postseason for the 21st consecutive campaign. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series.

HEAT AT 76ERS, Philadelphia leads 1-0. It worked, and the Sixers ran away in the second half under a hailstorm of threes. However, stopping them is another matter. Whiteside might not like it, but it's Miami's best chance. "If that's the way it's going to be, then we've got to conquer it", Spoelstra said.

The Celtics are an obvious candidate for upsets, due to injuries to stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.

To put it bluntly, Bledsoe was terrible Sunday. Not cutting it. And that doesn't even include Bledsoe getting completely crossed up on Terry Rozier's go-ahead bucket at the end of regulation. Game 1 should have answered some of those questions. They can fix the first two things just by being smarter and stronger with the ball. If he's not? It could be over quickly.

If Erik Spoelstra's Game 2 adjustments fail to slow Philly down, this series might be over quickly for the Heat.

But that wasn't the only issue with Cleveland's lifeless showing Sunday. Osman, meanwhile, was anchored to the bench. Miami plays well as a unit, but the team lacks any player rivaling Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons for Philly. Meanwhile, Nance gave the Cavaliers a boost when he came in and should move into the starting lineup in place of Green. The Warriors have overcome injuries and hardships throughout the regular season and finished behind the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference.

"They had more grunt". That occurred previous year, as the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards kicked off Game 1 of their second-round series on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m. prior to the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers finishing their first-round matchup later that afternoon. He is joined by Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Jerami Grant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Markelle Fultz (Philadelphia 76ers). Should Utah steal Game 2 and head back to Salt Lake City tied 1-1, watch out.

As good as Portland's backcourt duo of Lillard and C.J. McCollum has been this year, Anthony Davis will be the best player on the court.

Brooks called Ibaka "one of the best, if not the best, big man shooter in the league". The fourth might be a little too much for most viewers, and it will not make Adam Silver, that pursuer of parity, particularly pleased.

If you're wondering why it may take 18 days to complete one seven-game series, it's based off a few factors.

The shame of it is Minnesota had Game 1 there for the taking.

He remains on the most athletic players in the league, but, perhaps with an eye cast on prolonging his stay in the National Basketball Association, he has enhanced the three-point threat he poses, attempting more shots from beyond the arc this season than he ever has. But that doesn't change the fact Towns needs to be more involved for Minnesota to have a real shot.