It's a big night in the 2013 NBA Playoffs on Friday. The schedule is packed with four different Game 6 contests, which means that four different teams will be facing elimination. The Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers all need a win to stay alive the postseason. The New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies can all advance to the conference semifinals with a victory. The action will be cluttered on ESPN and ESPN2, so be sure to check out the schedule posted below for more information on Game 6 night in the NBA
Knicks vs. Celtics, Game 6 (New York lead series, 3-2)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN
The Knicks have lost two straight games after building a 3-0 series lead, but have they lost control of the matchup? New York's offense has stalled out while Boston seems to have hit a groove, and now the series has shifted back to Boston for Game 6. Can Carmelo Anthony and company close things out this time?
Paul Flannery of SB Nation NBA says we should have known better than to bury the Celtics:
We'll never learn, will we? Whether it's 2-0 or down a game on the road, we'll never learn that you can push them so far to the brink of death that the Knicks felt it was appropriate to wear black tonight and they all but laughed at the dark humor. We'll never learn that even when the priest comes around to administer last rites, it's not over until the coffin is sealed and buried six feet in the ground with dirt shoveled on top.
"You're only buried if the casket is closed," Jason Terry said, and the Celtics are still, somehow, very much alive after leaving Madison Square Garden with a 92-86 victory in Game 5 of their first round series with the Knicks.
"Shenanigans," the Celtics called the all-black stunt, and they know from that, too. They can dish it out as well, although whatever possessed Jordan Crawford to talk smack to Carmelo Anthony after it was over was not well received by Doc Rivers.
The series is getting chippy, and now things will play out with incredibly high stakes on Friday night. It should be fun to watch.
Pacers vs. Hawks, Game 6 (Indiana lead series, 3-2)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN2
The individual games haven't exactly produced the best drama, but the series is slowly getting interesting. Every game has been decided by at least 10 points, so far. The home team is undefeated. Will those trends hold up when the action shifts back to Atlanta for Game 6?
Thunder vs. Rockets, Game 6 (OKC lead series, 3-2)
Game Time: 9:30 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN
James Harden and the Rockets have charged back to make this a series in the wake of the injury to Russell Westbrook. Now Houston is at home with a chance to push things to a winner-take-all Game 7. There isn't much more the Rockets could have asked for in the playoffs.
Some of the blame has to go towards the Thunder themselves, because they were shooting so poorly from the field despite managing to get open shots. But I have to place most of the blame on Scott Brooks. I understand making adjustments without Westbrook, but he basically abandoned the team's strategy because of the loss of one player, and put them in a very vulnerable position. There's a lot of work to do if he wants to win Game 6, but he has the talent and tools to do so, easily. And if the Thunder lose this series after going up 3-0, there's no question in my mind that he should be fired. I like him as a person and it pains me to say it, but that's just the business of basketball.
Clippers vs. Grizzlies, Game 6 (Memphis lead series, 3-2)
Game Time: 9:30 p.m. ET | TV: ESPN2
This is probably the best matchup of the night, and things should be crazy in Memphis with a chance to advance to the second round of the playoffs on the line. Chris Paul will need to show up in a big way if the Clippers want to send the series back to L.A.