NBA Playoffs: News, Rumors & Matchups Of Note

It was a thrilling conclusion to the NBA season on Wednesday night with Kobe Bryant scoring 60 points in his final game, while the Golden State Warriors set the new record for most wins in a single regular season (73). Now, the league turns their attention to the playoffs, which get underway this weekend. Here are three series of note, along with the latest news & rumors from around the league.

(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Indiana Pacers
Game 1 - Sat., 12:30 pm ET

The Raptors are expected to be the biggest threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the Eastern Conference, yet they haven't been able to get out of the first round in each of the last two years despite having home court advantage. Not too long ago, it was Paul George and the Pacers who were the biggest threat to LeBron James. Seeing if Toronto can finally advance past the first round will be a defining moment for their current group.

(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Boston Celtics
Game 1 - Sat., 7:00 pm ET

As two of the four teams that tied for third in the Eastern Conference, the winner will likely have the chance to take down the Cavs. Atlanta is looking to prove that last season wasn't a fluke, and they'd love to get another crack at a Cleveland team that swept them last year. Boston wants to cement their place among the best teams in the East, and winning this series would go a long way in doing that - and they also want to get revenge for being swept by the Cavs last year.

4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers
Game 1 - Sun., 10:30 pm ET

Looking for the best chance at a first-round upset? This is it. The Clippers have a history of being inconsistent, and this Blazers team has shown that they're capable of beating anybody - remember, they did beat the Warriors by 32 points. If Portland's Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum put forth a few big games, LA will be in trouble.

News & Rumors
Sacramento Kings officially fire head coach George Karl

Wizards say Randy Wittman will not return as coach

Justin Bieber Fans Better Hope Cavs Sweep Pistons; Concert Scheduled Same Day as Game 5

"Strong belief" with Lakers that Byron Scott will not be fired

Complete 2016 NBA Playoffs Seeding, Matchups And Game Dates

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Related Topics: Raptors News, Clippers News, Blazers News, Wizards News, George Karl, Hawks News, Byron Scott, Randy Wittman, Kobe Bryant, Celtics News, Kings News, Lakers News, Warriors News, NBA News, Pacers News