NBA playoffs: Eight former UK players on postseason rosters

April 16, 2014 

  • First-Round Pairings

    All times p.m. and Eastern; TV network in parentheses; x-if necessary

    EASTERN CONFERENCE

    No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 8 Atlanta

    April 19: Hawks at Pacers, 7 (ESPN); April 22: Hawks at Pacers, 7 (TNT); April 24: Pacers at Hawks, 7 (NBA TV); April 26: Pacers at Hawks, 2 (TNT); April 28: x-Hawks at Pacers, 8 (NBA TV); May 1: x-Pacers at Hawks, TBD; May 3: x-Hawks at Pacers, TBD

    No. 2 Miami vs. No. 7 Charlotte

    April 20: Bobcats at Heat, 3:30 (ABC-36); Bobcats at Heat, 7 (TNT); April 26:Heat at Bobcats, 7 (ESPN); April 28: Heat at Bobcats, 7 (TNT); April 30: x-Bobcats at Heat, TBD; May 2: x-Heat at Bobcats, TBD; May 4: x-Bobcats at Heat, TBD

    No. 3 Toronto vs. No. 6 Brooklyn

    April 19: Nets at Raptors, 12:30 (ESPN); April 22: Nets at Raptors, 8 (NBA TV); April 25: Raptors at Nets, 7 (ESPN2); April 27: Raptors at Nets, 7 (TNT); April 30: x-Nets at Raptors, TBD; May 2: x-Raptors at Nets, TBD; May 4: x-Nets at Raptors, TBD

    No. 4 Chicago vs. No. 5 Washington

    April 20: Wizards at Bulls, 7 (TNT); April 22: Wizards at Bulls, 9:30 (TNT); April 25: Bulls at Wizards, 8 (ESPN); April 27: Bulls at Wizards, 1 (ABC-36); April 29: x-Wizards at Bulls, TBD; May 1: x-Bulls at Wizards, TBD; May 3: x-Wizards at Bulls, TBD

    WESTERN CONFERENCE

    No. 1 San Antonio vs. No. 8 Dallas

    April 20: Mavericks at Spurs, noon (TNT); April 23: Mavericks at Spurs, 7 (NBA TV); April 26: Spurs at Mavericks, 3:30 (TNT); April 28: Spurs at Mavericks, 8:30 (TNT); April 30: x-Mavericks at Spurs, TBD; May 2: x-Spurs at Mavericks, TBD; May 4: x-Mavericks at Spurs, TBD

    No. 2 Oklahoma City vs. No. 7 Memphis

    April 19: Grizzlies at Thunder, 9:30 (ESPN); April 21: Grizzlies at Thunder, 8 (TNT); April 24: Thunder at Grizzlies, 8 (TNT); April 26: Thunder at Grizzlies, 9:30 (ESPN); April 29: x-Grizzlies at Thunder, TBD; May 1: x-Thunder at Grizzlies, TBD; May 3: x-Grizzlies at Thunder, TBD

    No. 3 Los Angeles vs. No. 6 Golden State

    April 19: Warriors at Clippers, 3:30 (ABC-36); April 21: Warriors at Clippers, 10:30 (TNT); April 24: Clippers at Warriors, 10:30 (TNT); April 27: Clippers at Warriors, 3:30 (ABC-36); April 29: x-Warriors at Clippers, TBD; May 1: x-Clippers at Warriors, TBD; May 3: x-Warriors at Clippers, TBD

    No. 4 Houston vs. No. 5 Portland

    April 20: Trail Blazers at Rockets, 9:30 (TNT); April 23: Trail Blazers at Rockets, 9:30 (TNT); April 25: Rockets at Trail Blazers, 10:30 (ESPN); April 27: Rockets at Trail Blazers, 9:30 (TNT); April 30: x-Trail Blazers at Rockets, TBD; May 2: x-Rockets at Trail Blazers, TBD; May 4: x-Trail Blazers at Rockets, TBD

The first-round pairings for the NBA playoffs are finally set, and the team rosters include eight former University of Kentucky players.

The Miami Heat, the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, will take on No. 7 seed Charlotte. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, a second-year forward who starred on the 2012 UK championship team, averaged 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in the regular season for Charlotte. The Bobcats are in the postseason for the first time since the 2009-10 season and for the second time in team history.

The Toronto Raptors, headed by former Cat Dwane Casey, return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 having won a franchise-record 48 games.

Patrick Patterson, who was traded to Toronto during the season from Sacramento, has averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds off the bench for the Raptors. Chuck Hayes, also sent to the Raptors from the Kings, averaged 2.2 points and 3.5 rebounds through the regular season. The No. 3 seed Raptors will host the No. 6 seed Nets. Marquis Teague is a Brooklyn reserve.

The 4-5 matchup pits the No. 4 Chicago Bulls against the No. 5 Wizards. Nazr Mohammed averaged 1.6 points and 2.2 rebounds for the Bulls in his 16th season in the league. He passed Louie Dampier for second all-time in total games played in the NBA by a former UK player.

The Wizards end a five-year playoff drought and are going to the postseason for the first time since having drafted John Wall with the first overall pick in 2009. Wall was named an All-Star for the first time in a season in which he led Washington in scoring (19.4), assists (8.8) and steals (1.8).

In the Western Conference, No. 2 seed Oklahoma City will meet No. 7 Memphis. Tayshaun Prince, in his 11th season, averaged 6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists while playing the fewest minutes of his career since his rookie season.

Houston, a four seed, gets No. 5 Portland. Terrence Jones has bloomed into a potent threat for the Rockets, averaging 12.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks as a starter in his second year out of Kentucky.

In addition to the ex-Wildcats, a few of the first-round pairings feature players with other ties to the commonwealth:

No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 8 Atlanta: Shelvin Mack (Bryan Station) averaged a career-high 20.4 minutes off the bench for the Hawks in the regular season en route to career bests in several offensive categories.

No. 2 Oklahoma City vs. No. 7 Memphis: Courtney Lee (Western Kentucky), acquired from the Celtics as part of a three-team trade, is a key reserve for the Grizzlies and averaged 9.6 points over the season.

No. 4 Houston vs. No. 5 Portland: Francisco Garcia (Louisville) and Isaiah Canaan (Murray State) both come off the bench for the Rockets.

The other two pairings in the Western Conference — No. 1 San Antonio vs. No. 8 Dallas and No. 3 L.A. Clippers vs. No. 6 Golden State — feature no Kentucky ties.

Keep up with former UK players in the NBA, NFL and elsewhere. @ExCats.

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