If both teams’ playoff series end early, will the NBA move up their schedule?

When the NBA Playoffs started last week, the winners of the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs match up would play against the whichever team won the New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trailblazers series. Many expected the Pelicans-Blazers series to go at least six games, if not all the way to a seventh game.

Fast forward nine days and one quarter of the playoff bracket is already near completion.  The Pelicans made history by making very quick work of the Portland Trailblazers, disposing Damian Lillard and gang in four straight games in a somewhat-shocking sweep of the higher seed. On the other side of that same bracket are the Golden State Warriors, who are looking like they might bring out the broom against the San Antonio Spurs.

If both teams sweep out while other teams are still playing, will the NBA move up the schedule for those teams?

If an NBA Playoff Round Ends Early, Will NBA Move Up Dates?

Those two series are the only ones where both winners can potentially win out. The other six series are closer than that, with each team having at least one win. So that begs the question, if both series where the winners will meet one another ends way before the other series, will the NBA Playoff schedule be adjusted?

Meaning will the two early-winners move onto the second round and play that series while the first round is still going? The answer is no (mostly), the NBA won’t move up dates, at least not in any significant manner, to accommodate playoff rounds that end earlier than others. The date of the Conference Semifinals series (round two) might move up a couple days according to this page detailing out the ‘Key Dates’ from NBA.com.

The Conference Semifinal round of the NBA playoffs are regularly-scheduled for April 30 and May 1 with the possibility of moving up that round to April 28-29, but only if all the match-ups in the first round don’t go the distance.

What that means the Pelicans, who finished their series on April 21st, will have at least six days of rest/preparation with potentially up to eight days of rest.

For the most part, the NBA Playoffs try to keep the rounds aligned with one another as best they can — leaving those couple days to make changes to the schedule if/when necessary. And that’s because the NBA Finals schedule is pretty-much locked in to start on a specific date with no planned flexibility around it. That makes a lot of sense considering that the NBA Finals is a huge sporting event and that means there’s millions of dollars of marketing, logistics, partnerships and promotion tied to it.

So there’s a finite amount of time that the NBA schedule-makers bake into the NBA Playoff rounds that lead up to the championship.

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