Tuesday night is going to be juicy. In the first matchup out East, the Nets will attempt to take down the Heat in Miami as the playoff-hardened squads duke it out in Game 1. Meanwhile, Portland will try to outgun the Spurs as it heads to Texas. Let's take a look at the games.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat, Game 1
7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
Brooklyn proved that veteran leadership, at least in the first round, matters. The Nets beat the Raptors, 104-103, on Sunday, closing Game 7 and moving on to face the reigning two-time NBA champion Miami Heat. Now, it gets interesting. Not only does Brooklyn have familiar Eastern Conference foes in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but with the addition of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams, the Nets stand as one of the more fearsome teams left in the East.
Miami struggled with the Nets all year, losing all four games against Brooklyn this season. But, the playoffs are different, and the Heat have had time to rest, recuperate and scout their potential opponents since Apr. 28. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are all seasoned veterans who have shown time and time again that they can crush their opponents in the postseason. Whatever the outcome, this series is going to be old school.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 1
9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
Portland finally made it, and it's only the second round. After a game-winning shot by Damian Lillard on Saturday, the Trail Blazers found their way to the semifinals for the first time in 14 years, ending the agony felt by their fans in the most dramatic way possible. The Blazers are one of the most potent postseason offenses, and with weapons all around, the Spurs could have difficulty matching up with them.
Of course, the same can be said for San Antonio. The Spurs finished with the best regular season record in the NBA, and create matchup havoc all over the court for the Blazers. Tony Parker might be borderline unguardable, Boris Diaw is going to give everyone fits and Kawhi Leonard going against Nicolas Batum will have approximately all of the length. Portland hasn't been here before, and San Antonio has. But, how each reacts to the other on defense will largely be the deciding factor in this series.