The One Team Every Projected 2014 NBA Playoff Team Wants to Avoid

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The One Team Every Projected 2014 NBA Playoff Team Wants to Avoid
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies could prove problematic for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Which teams are going to survive the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs? It's all going to come down to matchups.

Think the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers are coasting through their respective first-round series? Not if the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors have anything to say about it.

In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat would likely make mincemeat of the Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks, but the other three matchups could go either way. The Charlotte Bobcats won't be an easy out for the freefalling Indiana Pacers, while the battle among the third-through-sixth-seeded teams likely won't be settled until the final days of the regular season.

If every team had its choice to avoid one squad in the first round of the playoffs, which would it be? Based on head-to-head records, projected player matchups and statistical strengths and weaknesses, let's take a look.

 

Note: These matchups only apply to the first round of the playoffs. Team records and playoff standings are current through games played on Wednesday, April 2; team statistics are current through games played on Tuesday, April 1.

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