Networks unleash NBA Playoff plans

With the matchups locked in, ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV announced broadcast plans for first-round games of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. ABC/ESPN open the postseason with the first five games, featuring the team of Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson and reporter Lisa Salters calling two ABC broadcasts in less than 24 hours starting Saturday with Warriors/Pelicans at 3:30p, before handling Cavaliers/Celtics on Sunday at 3p. ESPN will also televise an NBA Playoffs-opening triple-header on Saturday, beginning at 12:30p, and opening with Raptors/Wizards, followed at 7p by Bulls/Bucks and at 9:30p by Rockets/Mavericks.

TNT then gets in the game with more than 40 NBA Playoff contests on deck overall starting Sunday featuring a tripleheader pitting Hawks/Nets at 5:30p, Grizzlies/Trail Blazers at 8p and Clippers/Spurs at 10:30p. Among the production goodies in store with year will be several state-of-the-art technological enhancements during the playoffs including super-slow-motion cameras that will provide viewers with “gripping replays at key moments of the games,” as well as the use of robotic cameras placed above each backboard and a “steady cam” that will capture compelling close-up shots, along with visuals from player warm-ups used in studio coverage. Additionally, studio coverage will feature a virtual graphics package to showcase key game. The channel’s four commentator teams will include Marv Albert/Chris Webber, Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller, Brian Anderson/Steve Smith and Kevin Calabro/Brent Barry.

Finally, NBA TV is locked in for up to nine first-round games, and joins the action on Tuesday with Raptors/Wizards at 8p. Ian Eagle, Grant Hill and Kevin Ray take microphone duties. Other action will include hawks/nets on April 22, and Bulls/Bucks on April 23.

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