There is no better place to tip off the first round of the NBA playoffs than the mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden in New York City. That's where the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics will play Game 1 of their Eastern Conference series on Saturday afternoon.
The No. 2 seed Knicks will put their red-hot close to the regular season, fueled by the offensive dominance of Carmelo Anthony with some help from J.R. Smith off the bench, to the test early against the Celtics, who hope to be healthy enough to mount a playoff run. With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce back in action for the C's, this a very entertaining 2-7 matchup.
In other first-round action on Saturday, both 4-5 matchups will play Game 1. The Chicago Bulls (5) visit the Brooklyn Nets (4). The Bulls are not expecting center Joakim Noah to be available due to a foot injury.
In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Clippers (4) host the Memphis Grizzlies (5) at Staples Center. The Clippers won the season series with the Grizzlies, 3-1. The other Western Conference game has the No. 3 Denver Nuggets hosting No. 6 Golden State Warriors in Denver.
Here is the full schedule for Saturday's Game 1 playoff action:
Boston vs. New York, 3 p.m. ET (ABC): Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox
Golden State vs. Denver, 5:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe
Chicago vs. Brooklyn, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN): Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Sam Ponder
Memphis vs. LA Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard