Ranking the Most Exciting NBA Playoff Matchups

LeBron James looking distressed during a game

Ranking the Most Exciting NBA Playoff Matchups

Since their dynasty first began in 2014, the Warriors have dropped a total of two games in four first-round playoff series. When he plays for the Warriors this weekend, and when Kyle O'Quinn - now No. 2 on the list with 443 regular-season games without a postseason minute - plays for IN, the new active leader IN games played without a postseason appearance will be Brandon Knight. The Pistons were 25th in the National Basketball Association in that category at 107 per game.

The only potential obstacles standing in the Warriors' way seem to be Curry's foot - the team have said his ankle injury is not serious, but that situation should be monitored - or a boredom with domination so deep that they loaf their way to a shocking upset. Something clicked for the former second overall pick, as he finished with career-highs in points (20.1) and assists (7.0). By no means is that his fault, but the fact of the matter is Boston doesn't have time to wait for Hayward to be fully healthy. Maybe this is the year that he wins NBA Finals MVP.

That series turns out to be the Los Angeles Clippers against the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors, with ABC showcasing that series with a Saturday night telecast of Game 1 and a Sunday afternoon (April 21) showcase of Game 4. Add to that speculation about Irving's future and his unique take of team leadership (publicly calling out team-mates, walking back comments pledging his future to the Celtics) and a season many predicted would see them become the East's best team has turned into a campaign of struggle. It'll be interesting to see if Toronto can go up another level in the playoffs now that he won't be sitting games like he did in the regular season.

If the Warriors get there, they would be the second franchise ever with such a streak - joining only the Boston Celtics, who went there in 10 straight seasons from 1957-66.

We've long known that the 24-year-old Antetokounmpo is a creature of habit and that's certainly on display in the lengthy look into what goes into his pre-game preparations and exercises that ESPN's Malika Andrews revealed in her great piece on the leading MVP candidate. Their ability to got hot from beyond the arc will give them so trouble. The Milwaukee Bucks had the best regular-season record, and city enthusiasm for the team includes dyeing a local river green. Have proved very hard to beat in Toronto in recent years. They last missed the postseason in 1996-97.

"It doesn't matter who you play in the playoffs, you're going to get tested".

This should be a fun series between L.A. and Golden State. During that 11-game span, the average combined score was a shade under 240 points. But Beverley takes great pride in being one of the NBA's biggest pests, a super-tough, super-aggressive defender who can, and will, cause problems. But too often Embiid has had to sit out games due to injury. In the two losses against Denver, the Spurs guard averaged just 13 points and four assists per game. They are one of the stronger No. 8 seed to come along in quite some time. They will open up the playoffs against the Utah Jazz (+2000).

Houston Rockets' James Harden has been a scoring machine this season, netting over 30 points in 32 games in a row and averaging 36.6 points per game. Utah grabbed 80.3 per cent of available defensive rebounds, tied for the best percentage in the National Basketball Association.

Utah has won each of its last five appearances in a 4-versus-5 series.

Story line: Considered one of the East favorites before the season, the Celtics instead needed to beat the Pacers twice down the stretch just to ensure they'd finish fourth and have home-court advantage against a team that lost its best player when Victor Oladipo was injured.

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