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PBT’s NBA Playoffs first-round previews

Apr 27, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT

Larry O'Brien trophy Getty Images

This is what we’ve been waiting for. Through the desert of the lockout  and “how u” jokes. It’s the emotion and beauty of these playoff games that made us hope everyone would come to their senses and not kill the season. This is what we powered through a condensed, roller-coaster season to get to.

The NBA playoffs are here.

To help you be prepared for what is about to start this weekend, we present ProBasketballTalk’s NBA Playoff previews for the first round. All eight series will be broken down with stats and our insights so you can decide for yourself where that upset we all know is going to happen in the first round is going to come from. We throw in our predictions, too.

Read and enjoy.

Eastern Conference

Chicago Bulls (1) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8)
Miami Heat (2) vs. New York Knicks (7)
Indiana Pacers (3) vs. Orlando Magic (6)
Boston Celtics (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Western Conference

San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Utah Jazz (8)
Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)
Los Angeles Lakers (3) vs. Denver Nuggets (6)
Memphis Grizzlies (4) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5)

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  2. LaMarcus Aldridge thanks Portland fans in letter

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  3. Jordan McRae shatters backboard at Sixers practice

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  7. LaMarcus Aldridge has chosen to sign with Spurs

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  10. Who should Clippers get to replace DeAndre Jordan? How about Blake Griffin.

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    The Clippers went small the final five minutes of Game 7 against the Spurs, and it worked.

  11. Report: Derrick Williams agrees to two-year, $10 million deal with Knicks

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Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. L. Aldridge (6222)
  2. D. Wade (4387)
  3. D. Jordan (3733)
  4. W. Matthews (3610)
  5. L. James (3291)
  1. G. Monroe (3283)
  2. R. Rondo (3131)
  3. K. Bryant (3074)
  4. T. Harris (2956)
  5. R. Lopez (2921)