Posted Date: April 17, 2014

Photos: Nike unveils Air Jordan XX9

Ben Golliver, Jordan Brand, Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook
nike-air-jordan-xx9

Nike has unveiled the Air Jordan XX9 in two colorways. (Brand Jordan)

Nike’s Jordan Brand unveiled the latest iteration of its classic sneaker, the Air Jordans, in New York City on Thursday. Bearing the tagline “Tailored for flight,” the Air Jordan XX9 pairs a new woven upper with an updated, load-bearing Flight Plate in an effort to maximize performance.

“The goal is for these shoes to fit like a glove and to feel like you’re wearing nothing at all,” said designer Tinker Hatfield in a promotional video.

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Posted Date: April 17, 2014

NBA playoffs: Ranking the first-round series by entertainment value

2014 NBA playoffs, Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, Rob Mahoney, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
There's no love lost between Stephen Curry's Warriors and Chris Paul's Clippers. (Danny Bollinger and Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

There’s no love lost between Stephen Curry’s Warriors and Chris Paul’s Clippers. (Danny Bollinger and Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

With playoff matchups finally set, how does the first round look based purely on entertainment value? Here’s our countdown from the least interesting series to the most fascinating:

8. Miami Heat (2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7)

Charlotte’s reward for making the playoffs for the second time in the franchise’s 10-year history is an unfortunate matchup with the two-time defending champions. That’s a tough break for the pleasantly competent Bobcats. Aside from the gap in talent and playoff experience, the Heat dominated the Bobcats in their season series, going 4-0 despite missing Dwyane Wade for two games. A few were competitive, but overall the Heat thrashed the Bobcats by a massive efficiency differential of 15 points per 100 possessions. Charlotte’s typically stout defense was stretched and exploited, with Chris Bosh pouring in three-pointers and LeBron James attacking freely off the dribble. In their last meeting, on March 3, James dropped a career- and franchise-best 61 points in a 124-107 victory. That’s an exaggerated outcome, to be sure, but it’s one that doesn’t bode terribly well for Charlotte’s chances.

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Posted Date: April 17, 2014

2014 NBA playoffs schedule, TV times

2014 NBA playoffs
Patrick Beverley, Damian Lillard

Patrick Beverley and Damian Lillard will meet in the first round. (Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images)

After nearly six months and 1,230 regular-season games, the 2014 NBA playoffs have finally arrived. With postseason action set to tip-off on Saturday, SI.com has the dates, times and TV schedules for all eight first-round matchups below.

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Posted Date: April 17, 2014

Video: Thunder’s Kevin Durant throws down game-winning dunk to beat Pistons

Ben Golliver, Detroit Pistons, Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder forward Kevin Durant threw down a game-winning dunk to lift Oklahoma City to a 112-111 home victory over Detroit on Wednesday.

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Posted Date: April 17, 2014

2014 NBA playoffs series matchups, draft lottery order set

2014 NBA Draft, 2014 NBA playoffs, Ben Golliver
Kevin Durant (left) and LeBron James (right) can turn their attention to chasing a title during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant and LeBron James can now turn their attention to chasing a title during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. (Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

It took until the final night of the season, but all eight series matchups for the 2014 NBA playoffs are finally set.

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