Playoff preview: Predicting the East
Updated: April 19, 2013, 5:17 PM ETBy 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.
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