Discussion

Playoff preview: Predicting the East

Updated: April 19, 2013, 5:17 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider
Now that you've taken a tour through the first round of the Western Conference playoff bracket with Kevin Pelton, it's time to jump headfirst into the East.

But first, a lesson about the first round. In 2009, I dug into the 10 prior postseasons to see what regular-season matchups told us about the first-round matchups. The thinking was that what happens in the regular season stays in the regular season.

Turns out, that's actually not true. That handful of regular-season games has some predictive value in the playoffs. For instance, in those 10 postseasons, every single favorite (No. 1 through No. 4 seeds) that won its regular-season matchup against its first-round opponent won the series. That's a perfect 36-0 record.

MORE NBA HEADLINES