NBA Playoff Schedule 2011: TV Times For Four Opening Day Game 1s

The 2011 NBA Playoff schedule tips off on Saturday with four games of varying intrigue. The opening day schedule is East-heavy, with the lone West matchup coming in the late game. But there's playoff basketball from 1 p.m. until midnight ET, and no one can complain about that. (Except people who do not care for basketball.)

Pacers at Bulls, Game 1: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN.
The Chicago Bulls begin their quest for a title against the Indiana Pacers. This series is wildly expected to be a one-sided bulldozin', but the East 1-8 matchup has given us some intrigue in the past.
Series Hub | Indy Cornrows | Blog-a-Bull

76ers at Heat, Game 1: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC.
ABC had just one slot for Saturday, and picked LeBron James. Surprise, surprise.
Series Hub | Liberty Ballers | Peninsula Is Mightier

Hawks at Magic, Game 1: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN.
Atlanta and Orlando had an unwatchable series last year, but Jason Collins -- the so-called Dwight Howard antidote -- has added a new wrinkle.
Series Hub | Peachtree Hoops | Orlando Pinstriped Post

Blazers at Mavericks, Game 1: 9:30 p.m., ET, ESPN.
Thirst for Blazers-Mavericks is a good litmus test for basketball passion, almost like a loyalty test. "LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Rodrigue Beaubois ... where's your loyalty lie, kid?"
Series Hub | Blazer's Edge | Mavs Moneyball

EXCITEMENT AND INTRIGUE POWER RANKINGS FOR SAT., APRIL 16

1. Blazers-Mavericks.

2. Hawks-Magic.

3. Sixers-Heat.

126. Pacers-Bulls. (Note: only this high because it's the first game and I have playoff fever.)

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