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2011 NBA Playoff Bracket: No Easy Road To The Finals

For those who want to see a bracket of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, SB Nation has handily provided their own. To view the PDF, click here. The first page displays the bracket. The second page displays the URLs of the team sites in the playoffs. The bracket will be updated as each series completes.

Here are the matchups, both actualized and potential, in the Western Conference Playoffs.

First Round

  1. San Antonio Spurs vs. #8 Memphis Grizzlies
  2. Los Angeles Lakers vs. #7 New Orleans Hornets
  3. Dallas Mavericks vs. #6 Portland Trailblazers
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #5 Denver Nuggets

San Antonio/Memphis winner vs. Oklahoma City/Denver winner
Los Angeles/New Orleans winner vs. Dallas/Portland winner

SA/Mem/OKC/Den vs. LA/NO/Dal/Por

People may think the Lakers drew the favorable matchup when they ended up with New Orleans instead of Portland, but they still have to face the winner of the Portland-Dallas series in the second round, and both of those matchups could definitely drag on. Meanwhile, the top half of the bracket is a total minefield, with two potential underdogs looming as sleepers in Memphis and Denver, the cagey vets in San Antonio, and the emerging power in Oklahoma City.

In the Eastern Conference,

  1. Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers
  2. Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  3. Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
  4. Orlando Magic vs. Atlanta Hawks

Chicago-Indiana winner vs. Orlando-Atlanta winner
Miami-Philly winner vs. Boston-New York winner

Chi/Ind/Orl/Atl vs. Mia/Phi/Bos/NY

Other than Philly dragging Miami a few games, only the Boston-NY series has any compelling value in the first round. But the second round has some intriguing matchups. The two leading MVP candidates will probably face off in Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose in a Chicago-Orlando series, and of course Boston-Miami will be the main attraction.

Should be another long and exciting playoff run for all the fans. Strap in.