When The NBA Playoffs Are Hot

It's the kind of thing that makes sensible people put rational organization of their life on the backburner.

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In the East, Boston and Detroit should dismiss their first round opponents quickly and easily. Orlando figures to beat Toronto, though I suspect it will be closer than the numbers suggest. The Raptors were lost without all star forward Chris Bosh, and it depressed their team metrics.

The spotlight first round series in the East is Washington versus Cleveland. It's the third straight year these teams have met and players started barking a week ago. Point differential isn't much help here. The Wizards are negative .4 and the Cavs are a negative .3. Boston awaits the winner so this is the season for both teams and they must know it. Still, it's hard to pick against LeBron James if everything else is equal. I'm mostly just glad that neither team is in the West. I'm going to be up late often enough for the next few weeks.

Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.

Martin Johnson writes about music for the Wall Street Journal, basketball for Slate and beer for Eater, and he blogs at both the Joy of Cheese and Rotations. Follow him on Twitter.

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