April 24, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz point guard Devin Harris (5) and shooting guard Gordon Hayward (20) celebrate their 100-88 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Energy Solutions Arena. The victory clinches a spot in the playoffs for the Jazz. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012 NBA Playoffs will begin this weekend. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder will all begin their series on Saturday while the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and San Antonio Spurs will tip-off on Sunday.
Edit: The 2012 NBA Playoff schedule for the first round is out.
The NBA regular season finale will take place Thursday night with a slew of games scheduled to end the lockout-shortened season, but there won't be a lot of turnaround time before the 2012 NBA Playoffs begin. The majority of the postseason series will start Saturday with the rest rolling into Sunday afternoon.
There are only four series that are actually set heading into Thursday night but, considering all 16 teams are already confirmed, the NBA has let teams know which day the top seeds will start hosting their seven-game series.
The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder will all begin play on Saturday. The Bulls, Heat and Thunder are still awaiting their playoff opponents. Between the Heat and Bulls, one will get the New York Knicks while the other will get the Philadelphia 76ers whereas the Thunder are waiting to find out if they'll play the Denver Nuggets or Dallas Mavericks. The other Saturday game will see the Pacers hosting the Orlando Magic.
On Sunday, the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds will tip their games off to complete the first games of the first round. The Spurs will host the Utah Jazz, the Lakers will get either the Nuggets or Mavericks (whichever one the Thunder don't) and the 4-5 matchups are between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies in the West and the Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks in the East (homecourt still to be determined in both series).
A more official schedule will be sent out once things are slotted into place following Thursday's action, but there's a preliminary schedule for this weekend's games.