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NBA Playoffs: Five Road Wins To Start The First Round

The NBA playoffs got started this weekend, and someone might want to let the Indiana Pacers and Blake Griffin know. The Pacers as a collective, and Griffin as an individual, where the biggest disappointments of a round of Game 1s that had more surprises than we generally see in the NBA. Here’s a look back at the opener of each series…

EASTERN CONFERFENCE

Atlanta 101 Indiana 93: An 8-seed beating a 1-seed just isn’t supposed to happen in the NBA. Certainly not the opening game in front of the favorite’s home fans. The Hawks hit 11 treys and point guard Jeff Teague went for 28, which could have been survived. But Indiana did not get to the free throw line, and had only a marginal edge in rebounding, which spelled trouble.

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NHL Playoffs: The Four Games Of Easter Sunday

The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers bounced back, the Los Angeles Kings did not, and the Montreal Canadiens moved to within a game of advancing.  Here’s a look back on the four games of Easter Sunday in the NHL playoffs

ATLANTIC DIVISION BRACKET

Boston 4 Detroit 1: The Bruins came out like a team who had lost the first game on home ice and been outskated in the process. They came out aggressive, taking 18 shots on Jimmy Howard and constantly sending players to the net. There was a lot of chippiness on the ice, and while penalties didn’t get out of hand, frequent fisticuffs were a part of this game.

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Dabo Swinney, Clemson Football & Religious Freedom

A Happy Easter to everyone from TheSportsNotebook. On this day, when believers in the divinity of Jesus Christ celebrate His Resurrection, it seems like an appropriate day to take up a topic where sports and religious faith have intersected. And it’s the complaints being lodged by a radically secular group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, against Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney.

Swinney, a Protestant believer, makes no bones about his faith and the type of environment his program is. There is no requirement to share that faith, but the head coach is up front with recruits about who he is and what he believes.

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NHL Playoffs: Boston & Chicago On The Ropes

Five of the eight first-round series of the NHL playoffs have two games under their belt. Last year’s Stanley Cup finalists, the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks, are a combined 0-3, and one of the most star-studded lineups in the league is all even. Here’s a rundown on the action since TheSportsNotebook’s last update on Friday morning…

ATLANTIC DIVISION BRACKET

Detroit 1 Boston 0: It was a defensive-oriented game, with both teams only getting 22 shots apiece and there were only a handful of consistent assaults on the net throughout the game. Detroit simply outskated Boston, using their speed to control the pace of play and control the puck most of the way.

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NBA Playoffs: The 1st-Round Matchups

TheSportsNotebook has posted the Tale of the Tape for the playoff teams in both the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference of the NBA playoffs. Now, with tipoff of the postseason set for early Saturday afternoon, it’s time to dive into the first-round matchups. What follows are the series betting odds for each matchup, followed by some of my own thoughts and a misguided prediction.

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