NBA Playoffs: Ranking the Matchups

Divya ParmarSenior Analyst IApril 17, 2008

Now that the playoff matchups are set in stone, let's take a look at them and figure out which ones are must-see-tv and which ones aren't worth tuning in for.

A countdown of the series from worst to best:

8. Boston Celtics vs Atlanta Hawks. Is anybody going to waste any time on this match-up? What a joke. Atlanta doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs. They are only in the playoffs because the East is so weak. This series is a sweep. Verdict: Don't watch a single minute.

7. Detroit Pistons vs Philadelphia 76ers. This series is a total mismatch as well. Detroit will roll. Philadelphia is under .500 and not a great team. The only reason Philadelphia is in the playoffs is because the East is so weak, the same reason the Hawks are in. Verdict: Only watch a few minutes.

6. Orlando Magic vs Toronto Raptors. This series has an excellent match-up with Dwight Howard going up against Chris Bosh. Toronto has been playing better toward the end of the season. This series has a little intrigue, but not much compared some of the others. Verdict: Watch a few quarters.

5. Cleveland Caveliers vs Washington Wizards. The star factor is huge with King James going head to head with Agent Zero, Gilbert Arenas. Each star's respective team is weak because the supporting cases are mostly horrible. Watch this series for star power, not great quality basketball. Verdict: Watch some parts of the series, but not much.

Let's take a break for a second. Notice how the four worst series are all in the crappy East, while the four best are in the super-competitive West. Just saying.....

4. Utah Jazz vs Houston Rockets. This series is extremely even, but the reason I don't rank it higher is because of the boring half-court slow pace of the teams. Never mind the pace of the game, this series has the feel-good-story Rockets vs the up and coming Utah Jazz. This is a series that deserves a lot of attention. Verdict: Watch most of the series.

3. New Orleans Hornets vs Dallas Mavericks. This series has a lot of intrigue. Can the Mavericks get back their playoff mojo? Can the unproven Hornets get it done in the playoffs? The match-up here are excellent. Chris Paul vs Jason Kidd. New kidd (pun intentded) on the block going against the old veteran. David West vs Dirk Nowitzki. Great series. Verdict: Watch almost all the series.

2. Los Angeles Lakers vs Denver Nuggets. This series have off the charts star power. Meloand AI against Kobe. Superstars galore. Also, the Nuggets play up-tempo and no defense, so this series will be extremely high scoring. Get ready for some exciting, fast-paced basketball. Watch the new-look Lakers against the explosive Nuggets. I know this series may be a mismatch, but it will be damn entertaining. Verdict: Watch every minute of it.

1. San Antonio Spurs vs Phoenix Suns. This is the ultimate first round heavyweight match-up Shaq vs Duncan and a big man battle for the ages. It's time to settle the "who's better, Shaq or Duncan" argument once and for all. Also, a rivalry has been created by the bad blood in the past, including the Horry hip-check on Nash. This series matches two title contenders with a sense of urgency. Both teams know that Father Time is catching up to them and know that their windows of opportunity are closing. Both are veteran teams and know how to win. The intensity in this series will be off the charts, and Phoenix wants revenge for last year. Great, great, great first round match-up. Verdict: Watch every single second of every single game. Don't miss anything.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to provide feedback or rip me.