MANILA, Philippines – The Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs are the top seeds in their respective conferences in the first round of the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs.
In the East, the Bulls earned the No. 1 overall seed and will face the Philadelphia 76ers.
No. 2 seed Miami will take on the New York Knicks.
No. 3 Indiana, meanwhile, is favored to get past the Orlando Magic, who are decimated by injuries, including a season-ending back injury to main man Dwight Howard.
Fifth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, meantime, stole homecourt edge from the 4th-seeded Boston Celtics, because the Hawks finished with a better regular season record.
Out West, No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs will face another tough test, when they face the young and powerful frontline of the Utah Jazz.
No. 2 ranked Oklahoma gets another shot at the Dallas Mavericks, who ousted the Thunder from the playoffs last season en route to the championship.
Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will deal with the high-octane offense of the Denver Nuggets, while the Memphis Grizzlies will have homecourt edge against the LA Clippers.
The NBA Playoffs will begin on Saturday, which will be Sunday morning in Manila. -- ANC