Toronto at New York (12:30 p.m. EDT). Vince Carter and the high-flying Raptors -- 3-1 against the Knicks during the regular season -- face Latrell Sprewell and the Knicks in a highly anticipated, first-round playoff matchup.
San Antonio center Tim Duncan, sidelined with torn left knee cartilage, will miss at least the first game of the best-of-five series against Phoenix and it is uncertain if he will play in Game 2 on Tuesday, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday.
Indiana coach Larry Bird will not return to the Pacers next season, even if his team wins the championship. Bird assured reporters after Friday's practice that he would not reconsider his decision to step aside when the season ends. The Pacers, who finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference, have homecourt advantage through the conference playoffs, and open up Sunday against Milwaukee Bucks. Bird has compiled a three-year winning percentage of .687.
Seattle placed guard Vernon Maxwell on the inactive list Friday, replacing him with Chuck Person. The SuperSonics begin their best-of-five first-round playoff series on Saturday against Utah.
''I can't remember one time where I haven't felt a challenging first-round matchup. We embrace it, actually. You have to remember that these are all winning teams who have gotten here.'' -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who faces the eighth-seeded Sacramento Kings in the first round of the playoffs.
Saturday, April 22
Detroit at Miami (12:30 p.m. EDT). Grant Hill and the Pistons take on the Atlantic Division champion Heat, who hope to avoid another early playoff exit.
STILL STONEWALLING: Rasheed Wallace, who has spoken only a few words to the local media since the All-Star break in February, barely acknowledged reporters before walking onto the Rose Garden court for Friday's practice.
When asked by a writer from The Oregonian newspaper whether he had time to answer a few questions, Wallace replied, ''Nope.''
When the same reporter asked about his matchup with Minnesota's Kevin Garnett in the first round of the playoffs, Wallace said, ''It's gonna be a good matchup.'' He repeated the statement after a broadcaster's question and then turned to go shoot baskets.
Teams are required by the league to make players available for 30 minutes during off days of the playoffs, and already some players are bored. Wallace solved the problem by coming out of the locker room minutes before the end of the interview period.
Wallace has never been chatty with the media, but he's been particularly irked at the fuss made over his league-record total for technical fouls. Wallace had 38 this season, breaking the record of 32 held by Charles Barkley and Dennis Rodman.
Seattle's Gary Payton and Sacramento's Vlade Divac finished second this season with 18 technicals each.
Wallace's total was more than that of the New Jersey Nets, who had a league-low 32, even with illegal defenses included.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.