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What the NBA Playoffs would look like if they started after the break

We take a look at the overall NBA playoff bracket and seedings if the postseason were to start right now.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden reacts in the second half at Spectrum Center.  Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA has been on pause for about two weeks now due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and there’s a chance we don’t see basketball again until June. If this is the case, we could be staring down playoff matchups for each conference right now. The NBA could opt to go right into the playoffs as is since there won’t be much time to finish the regular season. Let’s take a look at each conference and the matchups we’d get in the first round.

Eastern Conference matchups and seeding

Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs. Orlando Magic (8)
Toronto Raptors (2) vs. Brooklyn Nets (7)
Boston Celtics (3) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (6)
Miami Heat (4) vs. Indiana Pacers (5)

Anybody else who loved 90s basketball drooling over this Celtics-Sixers first-round potential? The last time these two teams met was in 2018 in a series the Celtics won 4-1. It was close then five games though, with one going to OT and two decided by 5 points or fewer. These are two very different teams since that meeting. This series could be a slugfest for seven games and can we have basketball back now?

Western Conference matchups and seeding

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

The West is loaded in the first round, per usual. LeBron James and Anthony Davis vs. Ja Morant and the Grizzlies even has some appealing for a 1-8 matchup. Kawhi Leonard and PG-13 vs. Luka Doncic. Nikola Jokic vs. James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Jazz-Thunder features like 5-6 All-Star level guards. There’s also potential for Rockets-Clippers in the second round.