Now we get serious.
Indiana, New Orleans and Portland made things interesting. The Knicks were entertaining. But now we get down to business.
Now we are down to the eight best teams in the NBA and now contenders have to start facing off. Now everything gets more intense.
Here are our previews for the second round. All in one handy little location. This makes it easier for you to check back and point out how we missed things once the series is over.
Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies
There is going to be a first-round upset. One of the top four seeds somewhere — probably in the deep Western Conference, but Boston may be a little nervous — is going to get beat.
To help you better understand what is about to happen this weekend, we present ProBasketballTalk’s NBA Playoff previews for the first round. All eight series broken down with stats and knowledge so you can decide for yourself where that upset is coming from. We throw in some predictions for free. Because we’re nice like that.
Read, enjoy, and refer back during series, because the first round drags out so long you’ll forget a lot of what happened when the teams take five days off between games at one point.
No. 1 Chicago Bulls vs. No. 8 Indiana Pacers
No. 2 Miami Heat vs. No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers
No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 6 New York Knicks
No. 4 Orlando Magic vs. No. 5 Atlanta Hawks
No. 1 San Antonio Spurs vs. No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies
No. 2 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 7 New Orleans Hornets
No. 3 Dallas Mavericks vs. No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
No. 4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. No. 5 Denver Nuggets