With the playoffs now in full swing, ESPN will have live and exclusive coverage from each stage of the tournament, starting with the Eastern and Western Conference first rounds, through to the Conference semi-finals and finals, and the NBA Finals.
The 16 teams who have secured a place in the postseason include the Eastern Conference’s top-seeded Chicago Bulls, for whom British star Luol Deng starts. The Bulls have had an impressive season, fighting off a challenge for top spot from the Miami Heat despite star point guard Derrick Rose missing 26 games due to injury. The Heat meanwhile, home to All-Stars LeBron James and Dywane Wade, come into the playoffs hoping to go one better than their loss in the Finals last year. Other teams from the Eastern Conference include the Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
From the West, the San Antonio Spurs are the number one seeds, with the joint best record in the league – along with the Bulls – of 48 wins and 16 losses. The Spurs clinched top spot ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder, led by the league’s leading scorer, forward Kevin Durant, and explosive point guard Russell Westbrook, who also ranks in the NBA’s top five for scoring.
Behind them is the duo of LA teams – the Lakers and the rejuvenated Clippers, who have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006 with a team built around Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
Meanwhile the Lakers were guided by the experience of 14-time NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, who was second in the league for scoring. Last season saw the Dallas Mavericks lift the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Miami Heat four games to two, and the current NBA Champions will be able to defend their title after taking seventh spot in the Western Conference.
ESPN will have live coverage from each round of the tournament, including every game of both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals, and every game of the NBA Finals.
Fans can also keep up to date with the league with NBA Action, the award-winning original series which offers fans an inside look at game day preparation for the league’s star athletes, and NBA Tonight – the ESPN-produced basketball highlights, news and information show.