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NBA Playoff Schedule: Eastern Conference Matchups Set, West Still Up In The Air

The Eastern Conference playoff matchup are set. The Miami Heat secured the second seed in the East with their win last night against the Atlanta Hawks.

The playoff matchups along with a breakdown of the Western Conference playoff picture are after the break...

1. Chicago Bulls vs. 8. Indiana Pacer- Bulls won the season series three games to one.

2. Miami Heat vs 7. Philadelphia 76ers.- Heat swept the season series winning all three games.

3. Boston Celtics vs. 6. New York Knicks- Celtics have won all three games with one game remaining tomorrow night.

4. Orlando Magic vs 5. Atlanta Hawks- Hawks won the season series three games to one.

Despite the forming of a "super team" down in Miami, the Eastern conference is still the weaker of the two conferences and one can't see too many upsets happening in the first round. The Celtics/Knicks matchup would come closest with the Celtics sputtering down the stretch and the Knicks streaking having won seven straight games.

The Western conference race is still as murky as ever with only the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets entrenched into their seeding at one and five respectively. The Dallas Mavericks moved past the Lakers last night with their win against the Houston Rockets and they have the second seed for the time being. The top seeds in the playoff race should become a bit clearer tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers facing off against the San Antonio Spurs. A Lakers win puts them in prime position for the second seed, only having to beat the Sacramento Kings tomorrow night to secure the second seed. A loss puts the Mavericks in the driver's seat having to beat the New Orleans Hornets at home tomorrow night to secure the second seed.

The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.