The 2020 NBA Playoffs first-round schedule will finally begin on August 17 and Basketball fans will be able to enjoy the show with StarTimes on the ESPN channels.
Since returning on July 30, NBA teams have been playing inside a bubble at Disney World and during the playoffs, nothing will change. That means no more homecourt advantage. Otherwise, the format remains the same as usual, with the top-eight teams in each conference playing best-of-seven series, and the winner of each conference meeting in the Finals.
As of today, the NBA playoff picture is nearly set, with 15 of the 16 teams already known. The final spot in the playoffs will be determined on the weekend by a play-in tournament for the Western Conference’s eighth seed — either the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers or Phoenix Suns.
The winner of the play-in tournament will face the Western Conference top-seeded Lakers led by The King LeBron James. The 2nd seed Clippers play the Mavericks, one of the league’s best offences. Denver is the No. 3 seed and will face the Utah Jazz. The Nuggets should have a massive advantage when it comes to depth, even if Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were not at their best in the postseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to ground the rockets. That means that Rockets guard Russell Westbrook and Thunder guard Chris Paul get the chance to face their former teams.
As for the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the NBA’s best record will see the Orlando Magic in the first round. Toronto, a championship favourite and titleholder, will take on the Brooklyn Nets. The Boston Celtics, which performed very well in Orlando, will renew their rivalry with Philadelphia. Finally, the Miami Heat will look to cool off the Indiana Pacers.
Basketball fans across the continent can enjoy the NBA live on the 24-hour channels, ESPN and ESPN2, available on StarTimes platform.