The first eight games of Round One of the NBA Finals will be held this weekend. Here’s what’s happening, what to watch and where to place your money.
Schedule of Games
Saturday, April 15
- Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers at 3 p.m.
- Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors at 5:30 p.m.
- Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs at 8 p.m.
- Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 16
- Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards at 1 p.m.
- Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors at 3:30 p.m.
- Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics at 6:30 p.m.
- Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets at 9 p.m.
Top games to watch and why
Hawks vs. Wizards: Before sitting five players on Wednesday night against the Pacers, the Hawks finished the regular season on a strong note, winning four-straight and two against the Cavaliers. The Hawks are 0-3 against the Wizards this regular season. To end the season, the Wizards won five out of the last eight games. Fox Sports Southeast will televise the Hawks' first round of playoffs.
Bulls vs. Celtics: Hawks’ fans will obviously want to watch the Hawks take on the Wizards, but the matchup between the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls could be an important series to watch because the winner will play the winner of the Hawks-Wizards’ series. Derrick Rose won’t be a contender to play against because of a season-ending knee injury suffered in February.
Thunder vs. Rockets: The Hawks wouldn’t play either team unless they met in the Finals, but that has nothing to do with why you should watch this game. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are leading the pack in the MVP conversation and watching their teams go head to head might settle the conversation.
Pacers at Cavaliers: The Cavaliers are on a four-game losing streak, which might not mean much since Cleveland clinched a playoff spot in mid-March. The Hawks beat the Cavaliers twice in April, one of those in an epic, 26-point comeback and overtime win. It could be worth watching to see if the Cavs were just waiting out the remainder of the regular season or if Cleveland really is having communication issues on the court. The Pacers clinched a playoff spot in their Wednesday win over the Hawks.
Odds to win the NBA title
Trail Blazers: 150/1