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ALL SET FOR 2012 NBA PLAYOFFS


PhilBoxing.com




HALF the journey is over. In golf parlance, it means the front nine is history and it's now time for the back nine, where champions are made.

After 123 days and 66 games, the cramped schedule of a lockout-condensed regular season is finally over. And on top that heap stands the mighty Chicago Bulls, who finished with a 50-16 won-lost record.

With the best record overall, the Bulls will enjoy homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, including NBA Finals in early June.

The Miami Heat, who finished four games behind the Bulls at 46-20, are the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The 42-24 Indiana Pacers are the No.3 seed while the 39-27 Boston Celtics are No.4.

It is, however, important to mention that while the Celtics are the No.4 seed, they don't have homecourt advantage against the No.5 seed Atlanta Hawks, who have a better record at 40-26. The Celtics are seeded higher because they won the Atlantic Division while the Hawks are mere second placers in the Souteast Division behind the Heat.

Out West, the San Antonio Spurs handily won their conference with a 50-16 slate. And while they have the same record as Chicago, the Bulls have the tiebreaker after beating San Antonio in their lone meeting this season.

At 47-19 slate, the Oklahoma City Thunder are the No.2 seed in the West. The 41-24 Los Angeles Lakers are the No.3 seed while the Memphis Grizzlies, also 41-25 but lost the tiebreaker to the Lakers, are No.4.

The playoffs begins this Saturday. Here are the match-ups

EASTERN CONFERENCE

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

WESTERN CONFERENCE

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

It's a best-of-7 showdown for all series. (Homer D. Sayson)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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