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NBA Playoff Preview




| April 18, 2014

NBA Playoffs PreviewThe 2014 NBA playoffs begin Saturday, April 19. Here are NBA playoff preview quotes from around the web:


(1) INDIANA vs. (8) Atlanta

The Pacers went only 15-13 after acquiring Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen from the Sixers, after starting the season 41-13 . . . This is the seventh straight playoff appearance for the Hawks, the longest stretch of consecutive playoff appearances in the Eastern Conference . . . The Hawks lost 14 of 15 games in a span of February and March, but still managed to beat out the Knicks for the last playoff spot. -- Philadelphia Daily News

(2) MIAMI vs. (7) Charlotte

Miami lost only seven games this season when it held opponents under 100 points . . . The Heat is looking to become the first team to win three straight NBA Finals since the Lakers from 2000-02 . . . The Bobcats' 43 wins more than doubled their win total from last season (21). -- Philadelphia Daily News

(3) TORONTO vs. (6) Brooklyn

The Nets have a record of 34-17 since the start of 2014, giving them the second-best record in the East since Jan. 1 . . . The Nets are only the third team in the past 40 years to qualify for the playoffs after beginning the new year at least 10 games below .500 . . . Toronto set a franchise record this season by making 713 shots from beyond the arc, with former Villanova and Cardinal Dougherty High star Kyle Lowry setting a team single-season record by making 190 of them. -- Philadelphia Daily News

(4) CHICAGO vs. (5) Washington

Since the beginning of the year, Chicago owns the best record in the East, with a mark of 36-16 . . . The Wizards won 44 games this season, their highest total since 2007-08, the last time they made the playoffs . . . Chicago is 41-4 this season when leading going into the fourth quarter. -- Philadelphia Daily News

(1) SAN ANTONIO vs. (8) Dallas

San Antonio is the first team since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 to not have a player averaging over 30 minutes a game . . . The Spurs went on a 19-game winning streak this season that is tied for the sixth longest in NBA history . . . The Mavs lost their final regular-season game to Memphis, which sealed their fate of playing the Spurs rather than the Thunder, whom they beat two out of three times this season. -- Philadelphia Daily News

The return to relevance for the Dallas Mavericks can be traced back to Dirk Nowitzkiís arrival in the 1998. Yes, Mark Cuban came along in 2000, but itís doubtful the run of 12 consecutive playoff seasons that began in 2001 doesnít happen unless Don Nelson drafts an unknown German teenager. Those first dozen postseasons were capped by two trips to the NBA Finals and the 2011 championship that solidified Nowitzkiís standing as one of basketballís all-time greats. The Mavericks are back in the postseason this season after a one-year absence, nailing down the eighth seed in the Western Conference in a chase that went to the wire. The Mavericks begin a best-of-seven series at top seed San Antonio on Sunday. -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

(2) OKLAHOMA CITY vs. (7) Memphis

The Grizzlies took down the Thunder in last year's playoffs, but that was without star OKC point guard Russell Westbrook . . . The Thunder's Kevin Durant led the league in scoring, at 31.7 points . . . The Grizzlies went 33-13 since center Marc Gasol came back from a knee injury early in the season. -- Philadelphia Daily News

(3) LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS vs. (6) Golden State

Both have great point guards, but with much different styles. Steph Curry, of the Warriors, is a lethal shooter from outside, while the Clippers' Chris Paul is a classic pass-first point guard . . . Andrew Bogut could miss the whole series for Golden State with a fractured rib, so Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have a chance to bring Lob City to life . . . These franchises have never met in the playoffs. -- Philadelphia Daily News

(4) HOUSTON vs. (5) Portland

The Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge is scoring 21.1 points per game in his career against Houston, which trails only Dallas as the team against which he scores the most . . . In all but two of the last 15 meetings, the winning team eclipsed the 100-point mark . . . The Rockets have not been to the Finals since 1994-95, when they took home the title. -- Philadelphia Daily News

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