Round-by-Round NBA Playoff Predictions

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Round-by-Round NBA Playoff Predictions
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Will LeBron James and Kevin Durant square off in the finals again?

There are still a few weeks left in the regular season, but the NBA playoff picture is coming into focus.

From the very first games of the season, the Eastern Conference clearly sported the lesser crop of teams. Save for the top two squads and only real title contenders out East—the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers—the rest of the conference is still inferior to its Western counterparts, though more potential postseason qualifiers are limping their way back toward .500.

Out West, seven squads are currently .600 or better on the year. The expected juggernauts aren't the only ones with talent; on any given night, any Western Conference playoff team has the ability to beat anyone in the league.

If the playoffs started today, the first-round matchups would look like this:

 

Eastern Conference

  • No. 1 Indiana Pacers vs. No. 8 Atlanta Hawks
  • No. 2 Miami Heat vs. No. 7 Charlotte Bobcats
  • No. 3 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets
  • No. 4 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 5 Washington Wizards

 

Western Conference

  • No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 8 Phoenix Suns
  • No. 2 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks
  • No. 3 Portland Trail Blazers vs. No. 6 Golden State Warriors
  • No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Houston Rockets

 

But with more than 20 games left in the regular season, it's unlikely the standings will remain exactly the same when the postseason begins.

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