With the Portland Trail Blazers defeating the Memphis Grizzlies in Saturday’s play-in game, the 2020 NBA Playoff picture is set. Those playoffs include six of the nine Tar Heels who entered the bubble.
We’ve already talked about the exit of Harrison Barnes and the Kings. The other two Tar Heels to get knocked out were Cam Johnson and Tyler Zeller.
Despite Johnson and the Suns going undefeated in the bubble, they had too deep of a hole to dig out of in order to overtake the teams ahead of them for the eighth seed. But what a run it was. Having only started one game prior to the suspension of the season back in March, Johnson started all eight games in the bubble. While they didn’t make the playoffs, the Suns certainly turned heads and laid a solid foundation for the 2020-21 season.
Zeller played in one game for the Spurs. He totaled four minutes, four rebounds, and two points. He has dealt with knee soreness, which kept him on the bench.
As discussed in a previous article, five Tar Heels were already firmly in the NBA playoffs: Tony Bradley (Jazz), Ed Davis (Jazz), Danny Green (Lakers), Justin Jackson (Mavericks), and Marvin Williams (Bucks).
With the Blazers squeaking into the last playoff spot in the West, Nassir Little now joins this group. Unfortunately, Little hasn’t seen the court during bubble games. He has dealt with some injury issues including a concussion and dehydration.
PLAYOFF SEEDING AND SCHEDULE
The final playoff seeding is as follows:
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics
- Indiana Pacers
- Miami Heat
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Brooklyn Nets
- Orlando Magic
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Denver Nuggets
- Houston Rockets
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Utah Jazz
- Dallas Mavericks
- Portland Trail Blazers
One of the perks of the bubble is that the NBA can keep a rather consistent schedule throughout the playoffs. For the first round, four games will tip off on Monday, August 17, starting at 1:30pm ET. The other eight teams will then begin action the next day, also starting at 1:30pm ET. Those two groups of eight teams will continue to play every other day. Game sevens in the first round would take place on Saturday, August 29 (for the first group of eight teams) and Sunday, August 30 (for the second group).
Here’s the schedule for the series that start on Monday, August 17:
- Utah Jazz (W6) at Denver Nuggets (W3) | 1:30pm ET | ESPN
- Brooklyn Nets (E7) at Toronto Raptors (E2) | 4:00pm ET | ESPN
- Philadelphia 76ers (E6) at Boston Celtics (E3) | 6:30pm ET | ESPN
- Dallas Mavericks (W7) at Los Angeles Clippers (W2) | 9:00pm ET | ESPN
Here’s the schedule for the series that start on Tuesday, August 18:
- Orlando Magic (E8) at Milwaukee Bucks (E1) | 1:30pm ET | TNT
- Miami Heat (E5) at Indiana Pacers (E4) | 4:00pm ET | TNT
- Oklahoma City Thunder (W5) at Houston Rockets (W4) | 6:30pm ET | TNT
- Portland Trail Blazers (W8) at Los Angeles Lakers (W1) | 9:00pm ET | TNT
As you can see the scheduling is brilliant because the teams that will match up for the second round of the playoffs are already on the same daily schedule. For example, in the “first day” group, the winner of the Jazz / Nuggets series will play the winner of the Mavs / Clippers series and the winner of the Nets / Raptors series will play the winner of the 76ers / Celtics series.
TAR HEELS’ SCHEDULE
- Tony Bradley (Jazz) | at Nuggets | Monday, August 17 | 1:30pm ET | ESPN
- Ed Davis (Jazz) | at Nuggets | Monday, August 17 | 1:30pm ET | ESPN
- Danny Green (Lakers) | vs. Trail Blazers | Tuesday, August 18 | 9:00pm ET | TNT
- Justin Jackson (Mavericks) | at Clippers | Monday, August 17 | 9:00pm ET | ESPN
- Nassir Little (Trail Blazers) | at Lakers | Tuesday, August 18 | 9:00pm ET | TNT
- Marvin Williams (Bucks) | vs. Magic | Tuesday, August 18 | 1:30pm ET | TNT
Keep it locked right here with AllTarHeels as we keep you informed on what’s going on with the Tar Heels still in action this year.
Which Carolina player do you think will be the last one standing in the 2019-20 NBA season?
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