One thousand two hundred thirty.
Playoff Picture: Western Conference Round One
By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
That’s the number of regular season games played in the NBA to determine the 16 teams that advance to the playoffs.
In the Western Conference, playoff seeding wasn’t fully determined until the overtime buzzer of game 1,230 sounded in Sacramento.
After all the drama, excitement, pain, frustration and elation the final eight have been matched with their 2011 Playoff opponents.
#1 San Antonio Spurs (61-21) vs. #8 Memphis Grizzlies (46-36)
The Spurs and the Grizzlies split their season series 2-2. San Antonio claimed both games on their home floor and Memphis did the same. Both teams head into the post season on two-game losing streaks. Manu Ginobili of the Spurs left their final regular season game during the first quarter with a hyperextended elbow.
Game one tips off at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Sunday, April 17th at 10:00am PST* on TNT.
#2 Los Angeles Lakers (57-25) vs. #7 New Orleans Hornets (46-36)
The Lakers swept two teams in regular season play this year. One of them was the New Orleans Hornets. Los Angeles squeaked by Sacramento in OT to head into the playoffs on a two-game win streak. On the other hand, New Orleans ended the regular season on a three-game losing streak.
Game one tips off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, April 17th at 12:30pm PST on ABC.
#3 Dallas Mavericks (57-25) vs. #6 Portland Trail Blazers (48-34)
The Mavericks and the Trail Blazers split their season series 2-2. Neither lost a game to the other on their home floor. Dallas pushes into the post season on a four-game winning streak while Portland lost their regular season finale. (Though that’s not saying much for the Trail Blazers, as they rested their big-minute players.) The key for Portland is to steal a game on the road and protect home court just like the regular season. Another interesting tidbit about this matchup: Dallas won their games in December and January (pre-Gerald Wallace,) while Portland won theirs in March and April (post-Gerald Wallace.)
Game one tips off at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday, April 16th at 6:30pm PST on ESPN.
#4 Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) vs. #5 Denver Nuggets (50-32)
The Thunder defeated the Nuggets in three of four meetings in the regular season. Both teams enter the playoffs having lost their final games. At just over 500 miles apart, the close proximity of the two cities makes for the easiest traveling conditions in the Western Conference.
Game one tips off at the Oklahoma City Arena in Oklahoma City on Sunday, April 17th at 6:30pm on TNT.
2011 Playoffs-Round One, Game One
Saturday, April 16th
Indiana Pacers @ Chicago Bulls, 10:00am on ESPN/ESPN3D
Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat, 12:30pm on ABC
Atlanta Hawks @ Orlando Magic, 4:00pm on ESPN
Portland Trail Blazers @ Dallas Mavericks, 6:30pm on ESPN
Sunday, April 17th
Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs, 10:00am on TNT
New Orleans Hornets @ Los Angeles Lakers, 12:30pm on ABC
New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics, 4:00pm on TNT
Denver Nuggets @ Oklahoma City Thunder, 6:30pm on TNT
*All times are PST (Portland Standard Time, haha.)