It took until the final night of the regular season, but the NBA Playoffs are finally set. Indiana is the East’s top seed, and will face the only playoff team with a losing record, Atlanta, in the first round. San Antonio, the West’s top seed, will play in-state rival Dallas.
Other intriguing first round matchups include Houston/Portland (two young, exciting squads), Clippers/Warriors (expect a highlight on every play), and Toronto/Brooklyn (two no BS, lunchpail teams).
Looking beyond the first round for the East: Miami could play Brooklyn, against whom they went 0-4 during the regular season, in Round 2. Indiana/Chicago has all the makings of a seven-game series.
In the West: if OKC and LAC meet in Round 2, it could very well be the best, most exciting series of the entire Second Season. Houston/San Antonio is intriguing for the Duncan/Howard matchup and instate connection. Also, Portland is an intriguing team that blazed through the season’s first half but cooled off later in the year. They are young but confident, and are comfortable in tight games.
Any discussion of this year’s playoffs is incomplete without pointing out that the West’s eighth seed, Dallas, would be the third seed in the East. Below are your full first-round pairings.
No. 1 Indiana (56-26) vs. No. 8 Atlanta (38-44)
No. 2 Miami (54-28) vs. No. 7 Charlotte (43-39)
No. 3 Toronto (48-34) vs. No. 6 Brooklyn (44-38)
No. 4 Chicago (48-34) vs. No. 5 Washington (44-38)
No. 1 San Antonio (62-20) vs. No. 8 Dallas (49-33)
No. 2 Oklahoma City (59-23) vs. No. 7 Memphis (50-32)
No. 3 L.A. Clippers (57-24) vs. No. 6 Golden State (50-31)
No. 4 Houston (54-28) vs. No. 5 Portland (53-28)