Predicting Every First-Round NBA Playoff Matchup

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Predicting Every First-Round NBA Playoff Matchup
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

There's an old proverb that states that a journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.

LeBron James and the Miami Heat completed that journey back in June, when James was named the Finals MVP and his team hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy.

While the proverb is technically true, the journey to an NBA championship begins not with the first step but with the first round of the playoffs.

Sixteen of the 30 NBA teams will make the playoffs, and sometimes the regular season can feel like a 10,000-meter race. The first 9,000 meters are just jockeying for position and saving energy for the stretch run, while the final 1,000 meters constitute the real race.

The great thing about the playoffs is that anything can happen in a seven-game series. With over one-third of the season in the books, it's time to predict every matchup in the first round of the playoffs.

Like the intrepid settlers before us, we'll begin in the East and then head out West.

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