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These NBA Android apps are FANtastic

by Kellie Bartoli

The NBA is kicking into high gear as the first round of the playoff begin Saturday. And it wouldn’t be 2011 if we didn’t get through it with a little help from our smartphones.

Android users can stay up on all the action with NBA Game Time. The free app is a basic look at team and player profiles, news, standings, schedules and live scores. For a $4.99 in-app upgrade, fans can listen to radio broadcasts of all games, get video highlights, more news and no ads. And for diehard fans, League Pass Mobile, for $16.99, lets you stream at least 40 games live, replay those games for 48 hours and sends alerts directly to your phone.

Another way to get the latest news is LiveSport24 NBA. This free download brings game follow-ups and commentary, live results, stats and a calendar. NBA - Pro Basketball, also free, lets you pick your favorite team and add a home screen widget.

Think the Los Angeles Lakers can defend their 2010 championship all the way? Stay informed with LAL–Hoop News. It combines local and national news, links to popular blog, backgrounds, alerts and it’s free.

The Western Conference No. 1 seeded San Antonio Spurs ended the season with the second-best record in basketball. Project Spurs, also free, is a very interactive app that allows users to send in their own pictures, videos and accounts, forward interesting news and articles to their friends and get new alerts. Fans of the New York Knicks can download a similar app, Knicks Fanatics.

There are several free apps for teams like the Chicago BullsMiami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic, but this is where Android drops the ball. The iPhone offers many more options overall, and ESPN just released their latest, Watch ESPN, for live video stream, only for Apple devices. There’s still plenty to get you through the playoffs… and there’s always next year.