What more can fans ask of the NBA playoffs?
The highly competitive first round featured eight contests that went into overtime and culminated in five Game 7 showdowns. Again, that was just the first round.
Now each second-round matchup is set. Regardless of which teams move on to the Western and Eastern Conference Finals, at least we know that the eventual champion will have no doubt earned the Larry O’Brien trophy.
The parity and competitiveness in this year’s postseason has been a marvel to behold. For evidence of that, look no further than first-round matchups between No. 1 and No. 8 seeds.
The Dallas Mavericks forced the San Antonio Spurs—the team with the league’s best regular-season record—to play a seventh game. The Atlanta Hawks pushed the floundering Indiana Pacers to the brink of elimination as well before falling in back-to-back series-deciding games.
Now the Spurs will have to dispatch LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and the white-hot Portland Trail Blazers. Indy, meanwhile, will battle against John Wall, Bradley Beal and the upstart Washington Wizards.
But are those the most intriguing matchups to keep an eye on?
Each second-round meeting has its own collection of compelling storylines. In a best-of-seven series, anything can happen.