NBA Playoffs: Forecasting the West's 2011 First Round Matchups

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NBA Playoffs: Forecasting the West's 2011 First Round Matchups
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

In the current version of the NBA, the West is the old guard.

Three of the conference's top seeds, all potential contenders for the game's ultimate prize, are watching their championship window close.

For the Lakers, Spurs and Mavericks, 2011 could represent one last chance at greatness.

So while the Western Conference playoffs may not have the flash or media attention of the East, these matchups will undoubtedly be hard fought battles tinged with the hints of desperation that can only accompany veteran teams who have been there, competed and seen titles slip away. 

The Western conference first round may lack flash, but it will not lack intensity.

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