There’s no love lost between Stephen Curry’s Warriors and Chris Paul’s Clippers. (Danny Bollinger and Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
With playoff matchups finally set, how does the first round look based purely on entertainment value? Here’s our countdown from the least interesting series to the most fascinating:
8. Miami Heat (2) vs. Charlotte Bobcats (7)
Charlotte’s reward for making the playoffs for the second time in the franchise’s 10-year history is an unfortunate matchup with the two-time defending champions. That’s a tough break for the pleasantly competent Bobcats. Aside from the gap in talent and playoff experience, the Heat dominated the Bobcats in their season series, going 4-0 despite missing Dwyane Wade for two games. A few were competitive, but overall the Heat thrashed the Bobcats by a massive efficiency differential of 15 points per 100 possessions. Charlotte’s typically stout defense was stretched and exploited, with Chris Bosh pouring in three-pointers and LeBron James attacking freely off the dribble. In their last meeting, on March 3, James dropped a career- and franchise-best 61 points in a 124-107 victory. That’s an exaggerated outcome, to be sure, but it’s one that doesn’t bode terribly well for Charlotte’s chances.