The NBA playoffs are set to begin and the East once again looks like a cakewalk for the higher-seeded teams in the conference. However, it appears that this year’s seedings have paired some intriguing matchups based on the regular season.
In fact, the top four teams have had some trouble dealing with their first-round matchups. According to NBA Redditor u/Cruyffiaan, they have either split or lost the regular season series to their current playoff opponents:
Mildly interesting: none of the higher seeds in the east won the season series against their playoff opponent
It goes without saying that each pairing boasts a number of intriguing aspects to the overall matchup. The series between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards will feature a showdown between a couple of All-Star backcourts. It should also be noted that point guard John Wall did not appear in any of the four games they played this season.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics have had some trouble dealing with a Milwaukee Bucks team led by star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Furthermore, their recent injuries have raised further concern about their chances at championship contention moving forward. Despite their adamancy about making a return to the Eastern Conference Finals, they will undoubtedly have their hands full with the “Greek Freak”.
Perhaps the most compelling matchup in the East could be between the Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Three of their four showdowns were decided by six points or less. Needless to say, it will also be interesting to see how “The Process” unfolds in its first taste of playoff action.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only top-seeded team that was unable to get the edge in the regular season. They managed to avoid a sweep in the series finale after squeaking out a 115-108 win in late January. The Indiana Pacers have undoubtedly been the most improved team in the league this year, however, they will be facing a different version of the LeBron James they beat in the regular season.