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NBA playoffs, play-in schedule, matchups: How to watch, TV lineup

Kurt Helin joins Brother From Another to explain why he's leaning towards voting for Joel Embiid as the NBA's MVP this season, and breaks down the other candidates.

Now the games get real. No more load management, no more testing strange lineups just to see — the NBA playoffs are here and teams need to bring it.

There are fascinating first-round matchups set in both the East — Jalen Brunson and the Knicks vs. the one that got away in Donovan Mitchell with the Cavaliers — and the West, where the Sacramento Kings are in playoffs for the first time since 2006 going up against the team that has been their more successful older brother in Golden State.

Here’s the NBA playoff schedule — with times and broadcast networks — through the first weekend of the postseason. (All times are Eastern.)


TUESDAY (April 11)

No. 8 Atlanta Hawks at No. 7 Miami Heat (7:30 p.m. on TNT)
No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers (10 p.m. on TNT)

WEDNESDAY (April 12)

No. 10 Chicago Bulls at No. 9 Toronto Raptors (7 p.m. on ESPN)
No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans (9:30 p.m. on ESPN)

FRIDAY: (April 14)

East Winner 9/10 at Loser 7/8 (7 or 7:30 p.m. on TNT)
West Winner 9/10 at Loser 7/8 (9:30 or 10 p.m. on ESPN)


SATURDAY (April 15)

Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers (1 p.m. on ESPN)
East No.7 at Boston Celtics (3:30 on ESPN)
New York Knicks at Cleveland Cavaliers ( 6 p.m. on ESPN)
Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings (8:30 p.m. on ABC)

SUNDAY (April 16)

East No.8 at Milwaukee Bucks (time and broadcast network TBD)
West No.8 at Denver Nuggets (time and broadcast network TBD)
West No.7 at Memphis Grizzlies (time and broadcast network TBD)
Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns (time and broadcast network TBD)