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Updated Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

Brian Spurlock | USA TODAY Sports

The Eastern Conference playoff race is, regardless of the comparisons with the west, going to be highly competitive with several seeds likely to remain up for grabs until the last of the 82-game regular season. With the postseason right around the corner, all eyes are on the playoffs seeds and potential first round matchups. While there is still plenty of basketball to be played in both conferences, it is not too early to look at what those matchups would be if the playoffs started today. Here is a breakdown of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, if the first round were to start today.

#1 Atlanta Hawks vs. #8 Indiana Pacers

The Atlanta Hawks have run past the Eastern conference, and are currently the only NBA team that has secured a playoff berth. They have the second best home record in the NBA, behind Golden State, and will more than likely earn the right to stay in Atlanta through the Eastern Conference finals. The Indiana Pacers are peaking at the right time of year, and will not be an easy out for the Hawks, regardless of seeding. The Pacers play solid defense, are very physical in the front court, and have enough veteran leadership to believe that they can win at least one game in a series against the Hawks. Atlanta will be heavily favored in the series, but don’t expect any blowout victories.

Click “Next” to see the matchup between the #2 seed and the #7 seed!

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