NBA playoffs: Ranking every first-round series from worst to first

After 82 regular-season games and six play-in games, the NBA playoffs are finally here! And thanks to an uncharacteristic amount of depth in each conference, the Lakers ’disaster, and the Nets’ drama, the first round will be an interesting mix of contenders, fresh faces and intriguing matchups. With a lot of high-stakes basketball to be played over the next couple of weeks, let’s rank the first-round series by their entertainment value.

8. Suns vs. Pelicans

Although New Orleans is coming in hot off a play-in thriller… the Pelicans are going to have their hands (wings?) Full with the Suns. It would be pretty shocking if Phoenix didn’t do a quick job of this series. The Suns have been a juggernaut when healthy, and they are a veteran-laden team singularly focused on avenging last year’s Finals loss. New Orleans is fun and frisky, but its rotation’s lack of playoff experience will stand in stark contrast to Phoenix. Of note: Willie Green will be coaching against his mentor Monty Williams, who was Green’s boss with the Suns for the two seasons before this one. While it’s a nice storyline, it’s not exactly the kind you tune in for. The only way I see this series getting exciting is if Zion Williamson makes a shocking comeback.

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