NBA Playoff Picture 2014: Updated Bracket, TV Schedule, Matchups, Predictions

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
May 11, 2014 Updated: May 11, 2014

The NBA playoff picture got a little bit clearer after the Spurs took a commanding 3-0 lead over the Blazers this weekend.

That series is basically over, meaning the Spurs will advance to the Western Conference finals.

On the other hand, the Clippers stunned the Thunder by coming back from 22 down and winning by a bucket on Sunday afternoon, leaving the series tied 2-2. Whichever team makes it out of that series could easily beat the Spurs as both teams have shown how good they can be. (Prediction: Clippers in 7, then Clippers in 7 in the finals).

In the Eastern Conference, the Nets carved out a nice win at home to bring the series against the Heat to 1-2. The Nets need another win on Monday to have a chance at winning the series but are at least back in it and have some confidence now. (Prediction: Nets in 7).

The other series in the East had the Pacers go up 2-1 against the Wizards, who played a horrible game. The Wizards need a win at home on Sunday night (game info) to even the series as it shifts back to Indiana. (Prediction: Wizards in 6).

Most NBA fans outside of Miami and San Antonio likely want to see a final with at least one different team from last year. That’s entirely possible since the Clippers or Thunder have a good shot at beating the Spurs, while any of the three teams left in the East could beat the Heat.

Check out the bracket below and the TV schedule below that.

nbabracketclips

Western Conference

San Antonio vs. Portland

Game 1 – Spurs win 116-92 
Game 2 – Spurs win 114-97
Game 3 – Spurs win 118-103
Game 4 – Mon, May 12, San Antonio at Portland, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT 
Game 5 * Wed, May 14, Portland at San Antonio, TBD, TNT 
Game 6 * Fri, May 16, San Antonio at Portland, TBD, ESPN 
Game 7 * Mon, May 19, Portland at San Antonio, TBD, TNT

Oklahoma City vs. Los Angeles

Game 1 – Clippers win 122-105
Game 2 – Thunder win 112-101
Game 3 – Thunder win 118-112
Game 4 – Clippers win 101-99
Game 5 –  Tue, May 13, L.A. Clippers at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT 
Game 6 – Thu, May 15, Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers, TBD, ESPN 
Game 7 * Sun, May 18, L.A. Clippers at Oklahoma City, TBD, TNT

Note: Live streaming is available for ESPN games through Watch ESPN; available through TNT’s website for TNT games; and available through ABC Go for ABC games.

Eastern Conference

Indiana vs. Washington

Game 1 – Wizards win 102-96
Game 2 – Pacers win 86-82
Game 3 – Pacers win 85-63
Game 4 – Sun, May 11, Indiana at Washington, 8 p.m. ET, TNT 
Game 5 – Tue, May 13, Washington at Indiana, 7:30 p.m. ET, TNT 
Game 6 * Thu, May 15, Indiana at Washington, TBD, ESPN 
Game 7 * Sun, May 18, Washington at Indiana, TBD, TBD

Miami vs. Brooklyn

Game 1 – Heat win 107-86
Game 2 – Heat win 94-82
Game 3 – Nets win 104-90
Game 4 – Mon, May 12, Miami at Brooklyn, 8 p.m. ET, TNT 
Game 5 – Wed, May 14, Brooklyn at Miami, TBD, TNT 
Game 6 * Fri, May 16, Miami at Brooklyn, TBD, ESPN 
Game 7 * Sun, May 18, Brooklyn at Miami, TBD, ABC

See an article from the Associated Press below. 

Nets try to back up belief by beating Heat again

NEW YORK—Paul Pierce called the Miami Heat a juggernaut. He insisted they are still the team to beat.

So yes, the Brooklyn Nets have plenty of respect for the two-time defending NBA champions — and no fear.

Pierce made that clear again Sunday, a day after the Nets’ Game 3 rout that cut Miami’s lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brooklyn will try to even the series at home Monday night.

“You’ve got to have that type of mental ego against a juggernaut. You go against the best, a lot of series are won on fear factor, like, or non-belief. When you have that non-belief, then you have no chance,” Pierce said after practice.

“What I try to do in this locker room, or with my teammates, is just try to give them belief that we can beat this team. They’re not unbeatable.”

The Heat had been in these playoffs until the Nets’ 104-90 victory on Saturday night. Miami hadn’t even faced a fourth-quarter deficit, but was out of the game long before then after Brooklyn dominated the third quarter to build a huge lead.

“The defeat was complete,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was both sides of the basketball.

“It was like trying to plug in holes in a leaking dam. There was so many things that were not in our favor really on both ends of the court.”

The Nets made 15 of 25 3-point attempts, outrebounded Miami 43-27, and limited LeBron James to two baskets over the final three quarters after he had 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first.

Brooklyn swept the regular-season series, though none of the games was anywhere near as easy as Game 3. Yet the four victories gave the Nets a confidence against the Heat that some other opponents may not have.

“We just had a little success against them during the regular season. We played them well and we feel like we match up well with them,” Nets guard Deron Williams said. “And if we’re on top of our game, we’re playing defense the way we’re capable of playing, like we did the last game, we put ourselves in a good position to win.”

Pierce did his part after the Nets were routed in Game 1, asking coach Jason Kidd to switch up the defense so he could guard James. And after he and the Nets did such a good job of it over the final three quarters of Game 3, Pierce said the Nets wanted to show the Heat that they weren’t scared of them.

“Why should it be a fear factor?” James said. “It’s just basketball. We’re not trying to win a war here, it’s just basketball. That’s all it is. We’re all grown men, who cares about who’s fearing who?

“We’ve never been a team that talks. We don’t get into that, and we’ve never been a bulletin board team. We just want to play the game the right way and we give ourselves a good chance to win if we play our type of basketball and last night we didn’t do that.”

Miami had won its previous eight postseason games and followed every loss with a victory last year. To do that in this series, Spoelstra said the Heat would not only need better effort and urgency, but also more attention to the little details.

Pierce is expecting that, as well as in Game 5 back in Miami on Wednesday night. Even though the Heat didn’t look it Saturday, he believes they are just as good as the recent versions that ended his seasons in Boston.

“Definitely. They’re well-seasoned now. They know how to win,” Pierce said. “They’ve won two championships, there’s nothing they haven’t been through. So the one thing you always hear, it’s kind of a cliche, is never underestimate the heart of a champion, and you know that’s what they have under their belts. So you know, they’re the team to beat.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.