2020 NBA Playoffs Bracket

The 2020 NBA Playoffs tip-off on August 17th, 2020

Eastern Conference First Round:

East First Round: (1) Milwaukee Bucks vs (8) Orlando Magic
East First Round: (2) Toronto Raptors vs (7) Brooklyn Nets

Western Conference First Round:

West First Round: (2) Los Angeles Clippers vs (7) Dallas Mavericks
West First Round: (4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Oklahoma City Thunder

Full 2020 NBA Play-In and Playoffs Schedule

Vote for your NBA Bubble Player Awards!

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NBA Bubble Awards – Vote in our Poll

Six categories. Five nominees in each. Vote for your favorite NBA players and coaches for their performances throughout seeding games.

Categories in our NBA Bubble Awards Poll:
  • Rookie of the Bubble
  • Most Improved Player of the Bubble
  • Sixth man of the Bubble
  • Defensive Player of the Bubble
  • Coach of the Bubble
  • Most Valuable Player of the Bubble

We will be featuring poll results for the NBA Bubble Awards in the next few episodes of the Shoot or Pass Podcast. New episodes drop every Monday – so get your vote on and tune in!

Who is your top Rookie of the Bubble?

Who is your Most Improved Player of the Bubble?

Who is your Sixth Man of the Bubble?

Who is your Defensive Player of the Bubble?

Who is your Coach of the Bubble?

Who is your Most Valuable Player in the Bubble?

The NBA will be awarding several honors to reward players and coaches with top performances in Orlando. Awards include:
  • NBA Player of the Seeding Games
  • Coach of the Seeding Games
  • NBA All-Bubble First team
  • NBA All-Bubble Second team
These awards are separate from the 2020 NBA Awards. Select media members have been voting for their favorite players in six categories for performances throughout the regular before the lock down in March. These are the finalists:
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies
  • Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat
  • Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
  • Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
  • Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers 
  • Dennis Schröder, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers
  • Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
  • Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks 
  • Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans
  • Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Nick Nurse, Toronto Raptors
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2020 NBA Playoffs: Play-In and First Round Schedule and Matchups

The NBA has formally released the Play-In Tournament and First Round Schedule and Matchups schedule. Seeding play is ending on August 14th, 2020. Missed the bubble seeding standings? Check them out here!

When are the NBA Finals?
The NBA Finals will begin on Sept 30, 2020.

2020 NBA Western Conference Play-In

(8) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (9) Memphis Grizzlies

Game 1: Sat, Aug 15 Memphis at Portland, 2:30 ET, ABC
Game 2: Sun, Aug 16 Memphis at Portland, 4:30 ET, ESPN*

2020 NBA Western Conference First Round

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Play-In Winner

Game 1: Tue, Aug 18 Play-In Winner at Los Angeles, 9 ET, TNT
Game 2: Thu, Aug 20 Play-In Winner at Los Angeles, 9 ET, ESPN
Game 3: Sat, Aug 22 Los Angeles at Play-In Winner, 8:30 ET, ABC
Game 4: Mon, Aug 24 Los Angeles at Play-In Winner, 9 ET, TNT
Game 5*: Wed, Aug 26 Play-In Winner at Los Angeles, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Fri, Aug 28 Los Angeles at Play-In Winner, TBD, TBD
Game 7*: Sun, Aug 30 Play-In Winner at Los Angeles, TBD, TBD

(2) LA Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks

Game 1: Mon, Aug 17 Dallas at LA, 9 ET, ESPN
Game 2: Wed, Aug 19 Dallas at LA, 9 ET, TNT
Game 3: Fri, Aug 21 LA at Dallas, 9 ET, TNT
Game 4: Sun, Aug 23 LA at Dallas, 3:30 ET, ABC
Game 5*: Tue, Aug 25 Dallas at LA, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Thu, Aug 27 LA at Dallas, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Sat, Aug 29 Dallas at LA, TBD, TNT

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Utah Jazz

Game 1: Mon, Aug 17 Utah at Denver, 1:30 ET, ESPN
Game 2: Wed, Aug 19 Utah at Denver, 4 ET, TNT
Game 3: Fri, Aug 21 Denver at Utah, 4 ET, TNT
Game 4: Sun, Aug 23 Denver at Utah, 9 ET, TNT
Game 5*: Tue, Aug 25 Utah at Denver, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Thu, Aug 27 Denver at Utah, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Sat, Aug 29 Utah at Denver, TBD, TNT

(4/5) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (4/5) Houston Rockets

Game 1: Tue, Aug 18 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 6:30 ET, TNT
Game 2: Thu, Aug 20 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 3:30 ET, ESPN
Game 3: Sat, Aug 22 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 6 ET, ESPN
Game 4: Mon, Aug 24 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, 4 ET, TNT
Game 5*: Wed, Aug 26 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Fri, Aug 28 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD, TBD
Game 7*: Sun, Aug 30 Oklahoma City vs. Houston, TBD, TBD​​​​​​

2020 NBA Eastern Conference First Round

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Orlando Magic

Game 1: Tue, Aug 18 Orlando at Milwaukee, 1:30 ET, TNT
Game 2: Thu, Aug 20 Orlando at Milwaukee, 6 ET, ESPN
Game 3: Sat, Aug 22 Milwaukee at Orlando, 1 ET, TNT
Game 4: Mon, Aug 24 Milwaukee at Orlando, 1:30 ET, NBATV
Game 5*: Wed, Aug 26 Orlando at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Fri, Aug 28 Milwaukee at Orlando, TBD, TBD
Game 7*: Sun, Aug 30 Orlando at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD

(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets 

Game 1: Mon, Aug 17 Brooklyn at Toronto, 4 ET, ESPN
Game 2: Wed, Aug 19 Brooklyn at Toronto, 1:30 ET, NBATV
Game 3: Fri, Aug 21 Toronto at Brooklyn, 1:30 ET, NBATV
Game 4: Sun, Aug 23 Toronto at Brooklyn, 6:30 ET, TNT
Game 5*: Tue, Aug 25 Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Thu, Aug 27 Toronto at Brooklyn, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Sat, Aug 29 Brooklyn at Toronto, TBD, TNT

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers

Game 1: Mon, Aug 17 Philadelphia at Boston, 6:30 ET, ESPN
Game 2: Wed, Aug 19 Philadelphia at Boston, 6:30 ET, TNT
Game 3: Fri, Aug 21 Boston at Philadelphia, 6:30 ET, TNT
Game 4: Sun, Aug 23 Boston at Philadelphia, 1 ET, ABC
Game 5*: Tue, Aug 25 Philadelphia at Boston, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Thu, Aug 27 Boston at Philadelphia, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Sun, Aug 29 Philadelphia at Boston, TBD, TNT

(4/5) Miami Heat vs. (4/5) Indiana Pacers

Game 1: Tue, Aug 18 Miami vs. Indiana, 4 ET, TNT
Game 2: Thu, Aug 20 Miami vs. Indiana, 1 ET, ESPN
Game 3: Sat, Aug 22 Miami vs. Indiana, 3:30 ET, TNT
Game 4: Mon, Aug 24 Miami vs. Indiana, 6:30 ET, TNT
Game 5*: Wed, Aug 26 Miami vs. Indiana, TBD, TBD
Game 6*: Fri, Aug 28 Miami vs. Indiana, TBD, TBD
Game 7*: Sun, Aug 30 Miami vs. Indiana, TBD, TBD

* – If Necessary
TBD – To Be Determined

Per NBA.com

NBA’s top bubble players

Who is at the top of the NBA Bubble?

From what we’ve been told, life in the bubble is quite a bit different than NBA players are used to.  A few of the factors that may have an effect on a given player’s game include lack of distractions, no crowd noise, ability to rest, no travel, and constant warm weather. This NBA Bubble sounds quite like the vacation right?

With the above said, is there a difference in top players in the NBA Bubble?

The idea struck me that with these factors some guys might be better suited to living and playing in the NBA bubble than others.  In fact, some ballplayers might be better playing there than outside of the bubble or anywhere else for that matter.

It seems that further analysis is warranted to see how the league stacks up in this alternate reality that is the bubble.   And with most players having played 5 games so far, it is not that infantasmaly small of a sample size to compare.  So, whose game is most conducive to the bubble? Who is normally a David but turns into a Goliath inside the bubble?  Let’s take a look at the top contenders below to see who is the real bubble boy.  

Too Good to be Considered:

Stars like Nikola Jokić, Damian Lillard, Giannis, and James Harden, have, of course, been playing well in the bubble, but that is to be expected.  Their stellar performance this far is par for the course, not any change that the bubble may have brought out of them. So, they are out. 

Young guns like Luka Dončić and Zion Williamson have seemingly elevated their games in the bubble, but this is also expected.  They have embarked on their upward trajectory, as everyone and their mother thought they would.  These players we already know are too good to be in consideration for true bubble boy champ. 

Devin Booker has had a great run in the bubble so far.  He’s also been putting up 26 points per game and 6 assists per game for the last 2 years and made his first All-Star game this past year.  So, his bubble stretch of 27, 30, 35, 20, and 35 pts respectively is impressive but is not that much of a jump from his pre-bubble performance.  Unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it) Book is out. 

Contenders for top bubble players:

This leaves two true contenders: Michael Porter Jr. and T.J. Warren.  If you’ve been paying attention to the NBA you probably could have guessed this but let’s break them down.

Michael Porter Jr., is averaging 9.2 pts and 4.7 rebounds in the restart, his first real NBA season. His bubble points totals have been:

11 points (in only 25 mins), 37, 30, 27, 23.  He is also put up double-digit rebounds in all but his first game as well.  Advanced metrics have, of course, are kind to Porter Jr’s in his bubble stretch.

The statistical breakdown

Michael Porter Jr. Advance Metrics (season vs bubble):
OFFRTG of 116.2 (bubble) – 112.8 (season), DEFRTG of 112.1 (bubble) – 111.3 (season), and a NETRTG of 4.2 (bubble) – 1.5 (season)

T.J. Warren’s point totals for the 5 games of the bubble thus far: 53, 34, 32, 16, & 39. (He’s averaging 19.9 ppg for the season and 15.5 for his career).  

T.J. Warren Advanced Metrics (season vs bubble):
OFFRTG of 122.3 (bubble) – 110.0 (season), DEFRTG of 102.8 (bubble) – 111.3 (season) and a NETRTG of 19.5 (bubble) – 3.1 (season).  

The defense hasn’t been great but his offense and thus net more than makeup for it. An overall net increase of +16.4 is absurd.   

So, stats pull in TJ’s favor.  The other thing that pulls in TJ’s favor is expectations.  As with the previously mentioned “too good” players, there was a decent chance that MPJ will to ascend to this point.  Yes, both MPJ and TJ were 14th overall draft picks but MPJ had serious injury concerns and still managed to be picked 14th.  

Let’s not forget that he was the #2 overall recruit in the 2017 recruiting class.  In addition, MPJ is in his first full season of playing NBA basketball. Sky is the limit for him to improve at some point unless the injuries fully derailed him.  

Warren is in his 6th season, averaging a very respectable 19+ points per game. His bubble scoring jumps to 40+ points per game.  Guys don’t typically make unreal jumps like that, let alone in their 6th season. Therefore, TJ absolutely should be take the crown as our bubble boy champion through 5 games and will be tough to unseat. 

Yes, I know that haters will say that TJ’s ascendance is a hot streak or that Domantas Sabonis’ injury allowed greater spacing for TJ.  But they know, in their heart of hearts, that it’s all about the bubble – baby. 

Follow John Glowatz on Twitter @PodNortheast

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Draymond Green fined $50K for tampering

The NBA released a statement today fining Warriors Draymond Green $50,000 due to comments be made on TNT last week.

During Friday’s broadcast, Green praised Booker and the Suns for their undefeated start in the NBA bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort, “but get my man out of Phoenix.”

“It’s not good for him. It’s not good for his career,” Green said. “… They gotta get Book out of Phoenix. I need my man to go somewhere where he can play great basketball all the time and win, because he’s that type of player.


76ers’ Ben Simmons has subluxation of his left patella out indefinitely

Philadelphia 76er All-Star Ben Simmons will be out indefinitely with a subluxation of his left patella. Simmons sustained the injury during the 76ers injured during the third quarter of Wednesday’s 107-98 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Simmons’ injury comes after he suffered a back injury in the first quarter of Philadelphia’s loss in Milwaukee on Feb. 22 and it was unclear whether he was going to be available for the playoffs had the season not be suspended.


Magic Forward Jonathan Isaac suffers torn ACL

During the Orlando Magic’s victory against the Sacramento Kings, Sunday night with 9:19 left in the fourth quarter, Jonathan Isaac’s left knee buckled and the 22-year-old forward collapsed to the floor.

The diagnosis was later to be determined as a torn ACL on the left knee. Isaac had just returned from an unrelated left knee injury using the season suspension time to rehab the injury. He recovered from a posterior lateral corner injury and a medial bone contusion to the same knee.

Isaac has left the bubble to seek further treatment and no time frame has been determined for his return in the coming next season.


NBA Studs and Duds from the first weekend of the season restart

One weekend down and many to go. Our Shoot or Pass Podcast Co-Hosts will be sharing their Studs and Duds right here. Who impressed and who disappointed? Find out below!


Chevy – Damian Lillard

While we’ve witnessed a win and a loss from the Blazers, Dame is making NBA headlines. Dame means business in the bubble. He’s not here to play just 2 weeks and 8 games of basketball, he plans on sticking around for a deep run. He’s playing playoff minutes (45 vs. the Grizzlies, 44 vs. the Celtics) and is averaging about 30 points each game (29 vs. the Grizzlies, 30 vs. the Celtics). Unfortunately, the Blazers lost yesterday after a big on Friday, but the goal here is to get within 4 games of the 8th seed to force a play-in. I think Dame can keep them hanging around for it.

Rhoby – Kyle Lowry

KYLEFORNIA knows how to party! Lebronto is no more, as Lebron and the Lakers were bullied around by Kyle Lowry Friday night. NBA players are supposed to be breaking down by their mid-30s and undersized guards aren’t supposed to be hitting threes with a 7-footer in their face or making an impact as a rim protector, however, Kyle Lowry isn’t getting the memo. He scored a game-high 33 points, nabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, and has 6 assists. I am sold. The Raptors are a force to be reckoned with in this NBA Restart.


Chevy – Zion Williamson

I know I have to tread carefully here because this is the NBA’s new poster boy, but if I’m Adam Silver you want him to be seen and on the floor. What is his deal? A month or two ago, a picture of Zion surfaced on social media and he looked like he was in great shape and ready to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs. Needless to say, I don’t understand the way Alvin Gentry is restricting his minutes. In the loss to the Jazz, Zion was on the bench for a crucial 4th quarter. Wouldn’t you want the best player on your team to be playing in those scenarios? Definitely a concern for a rising star on a team fighting for playoff spot.

Rhoby – Shake Milton

To begin with, this stat line says it all – 0 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists. NOT a good look for the new starting PG of a Sixers. This team appears to be failing expectations. What’s new? He appeared to have no command of the ball, only took one shot in the game in the 4th quarter, made some bad turnovers, and found himself in foul trouble. He focused on racial injustice in post-game comments, which is great, but I hope he’s also focusing on his game going forward because the Sixers need him to show up if they want to make noise in the playoffs!

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Milwaukee Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe, Pat Connaughton will miss second consecutive game

Milwaukee Bucks guards Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton will miss their second consecutive games on Sunday night against the Houston Rockets.

Both are recovered from COVID-19 but making their way to regaining game shape strength prior to returning to the line-ups.


The once in a lifetime NBA Restart

July 30, 2019 

The NBA seemed to be birthing a new start as to what I called the “dynamic duo” era. We spent most of the last decade watching trios or stars of three align and win championships. The general concern was that trios could ruin the league and hurt small markets. 

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant found their way to becoming teammates in Brooklyn. 

Kawhi Leonard called up Paul George and said let’s go home to Los Angeles. 

LeBron settled in with the Lakers coming off an extended vacation and inventively has Anthony Lakers join him in Hollywood.

With Paul George leaving town Oklahoma City watched their own dynamic duo disappear as the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets as he reunites with James Harden as a teammate again.

Just think back to last summer when at this point we gave the NBA little to no attention as the NFL training camps starting up took priority. MLB was coming off All-Star weekend earlier in the month and the Washington Nationals were giving us a prelude of one hell of a turnaround in baseball history. 

July 30, 2020

The NBA is set to restart tonight. Sounds weird right? If you’re as old as me and a hooper you probably remember the good old days where your drives to summer camps or summer league were all first-class treatment. It was practice, camp, practice, game and then a 24/7 all-inclusive buffet. 

Alright, I should plug mom and dad here as they were responsible for making me feel like an NBA Player with prestigious treatment during the summer.

It’s a one of a kind affair we can potentially call once in a lifetime season. Well, that weighs heavily on life post-COVID-19 returning fans back to arenas and the “old normal” allowable. I like to brag that the NBA Bubble is about 30 miles away from me. 

Usually, at the end of July or early August, I am walking in the same paths at the Walt Disney World Resorts exploring new corners I’ve never seen. However, this summer the NBA has taken over (and COVID-19 too).

Typically at the end of July, the champagne from the NBA’s newest (or returning champion) has dried out, the NBA Draft has passed, Summer League is over, and free agency period usually has locked up the prized player by the end of July.

For what seems like the once in a lifetime opportunity, the NBA returns at we could call the prime of the season. Eight more games to count toward the season records and in two weeks we’ll be talking about playoffs in the middle of August! 

Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and the rest of the NBA’s premier players are in town all under one location. The Walt Disney World Resort and ESPN Wide World of Sports host some of the most unlikely guests they could never imagine hosting together.

For us avid fans we are licking our chops in the desperation of seeing the prime of the league compete for the highest of NBA accolades, the Larry O’Brien trophy. Let’s knock on wood and thus far hope the zero positive COVID-19 tests stay consistent until mid-October. 

The idea of summer basketball and maybe changing the time frame of the season gets a test ride due to a world pandemic. Under special circumstances amid a social justice movement for equality and concerns of a virus, no one is immune from the NBA still is managing to put forth a season finish and one like no other.

The return is tonight as TNT gets first dibs on hosting the nationally televised broadcast of the first restart game at 6:30 PM EST, Utah Jazz at the New Orleans Pelicans and later at 9 PM EST, the Los Angeles Clippers “visiting” the Los Angeles Lakers.

What can we get out of this season or campus sets the endless opportunities that the NBA can produce to keep fans and athletes happy. With the optimism that the world goes back to normal, I’m already thinking about next summer without basketball. However, the NBA is placed in a decision to restart the league as early as December or perhaps take advantage of giving us summer basketball yet again next year.

Listen to our NBA coverage on the Shoot or Pass Podcast all season long