Playoff time: 10 things to know for the NBA postseason

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Taking the phrase "putting the team on your back" to a whole new level, he broke the 50-point threshold nine times this season, became the first player in National Basketball Association history to score more than 30 points against all 29 teams in the league, and produced the second-longest scoring streak ever with 30 or more points in 32 consecutive games, second to only Wilt Chamberlain.

"I know the historical connotation, we talk about it and we want to chase it and understand how unprecedented it is what we're trying to do", Curry said. On the other end, Kenny Atkinson and the Nets have been throwing out weird defensive looks all season, including some zone and matchup-zone type of sets that the Sixers could struggle against, especially considering their lack of spacing. You can find the first round games here.

But Rivers does have one of the best defensive guards in the National Basketball Association at his disposal in Patrick Beverley, who will likely draw the defensive assignment on Curry. Their major struggle comes against the pick and roll. The Rockets are led by MVP candidate James Harden, who led the league in points per game, and the ever-reliable Chris Paul.

The Golden State Warriors followed up their second consecutive title, and third in four years, by adding DeMarcus Cousins, the four-time All-Star. Their ability to got hot from beyond the arc will give them so trouble.

Coach Mike D'Antoni has Houston launching from long range at an astonishing rate - they made a record 27 in a win over the Suns this month - but their playoff hopes will revolve around Harden.

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The Warriors hardly broke a sweat in that game and it has been similar in the opening round in which they have won 16 and lost just two games in Steve Kerr's era. Not to mention Donovan Mitchell has been on another level.

40-year-old Nowitzki announced his retirement in an emotional speech after the Mavericks' last home game of the season. The Rockets will likely win that series in five games. The Nuggets excelled in the regular season, but the playoffs are different. The additions of Brook Lopez, Ersan Ilyasova, George Hill, and Nikola Mirotic should definitely make a difference as they bring shooting, toughness and veteran leadership; which is exactly what this team will need to help them advance. Also, the matchups between the star duos will be very telling to who wins this series. The Trail Blazers turn it over a good amount and if McCollum isn't 100 percent, that number could be even worse.

Season series: Thunder, 4-0. Yes, the Nuggets have the best home record of any playoff team. San Antonio isn't as efficient defensively as Denver - the Spurs are No. 20 - but the offense is barely ahead of the Nuggets in possessions per game at 101.7. Also, what's better than Pop's postgame press conferences?

A starting line-up of five All-Stars, two of whom are former recipients of the Most Valuable Player Award, was just too much. It would be nice to see them at full strength. The x-factor in this series will be DeMar DeRozan. So, my prediction for the Eastern Conference Finals will be Celtics versus the Raptors, and I think the Raptors will finally end their drought and win the series in six games. In the two losses against Denver, the Spurs guard averaged just 13 points and four assists per game. The German star was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2007 and the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 2011. But then, just as the team's roster was hit with an injury crisis and a playoff spot was falling out of reach, Harden caught fire and went on a historic run that will be remembered for years to come.

Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to see how the playoffs unfold.

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