|The challenge begins now. (Getty Images)|
Each morning we'll update you on the playoff race in both conferences. Not just who is how many games out of what seed, but what the seedings and matchups mean for each team based on what we've seen. For our complete playoff standings, click here.
2012 NBA playoffs first-round matchups:
Chicago (1) vs. Philadelphia (8)
Miami (2) vs. New York (7)
Indiana (3) vs. Orlando (6)
Boston (4) vs. Atlanta (5)
San Antonio (1) vs. Utah (8)
Oklahoma City (2) vs. Dallas (7)
Los Angeles Lakers (3) vs. Denver (6)
Memphis (4) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5)
*Bold indicates locked seeding/series.
East No.1 vs. No. 8: Chicago Bulls (1) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8). Chicago won the season series 2-1 though the Sixers won the series efficiency differential of with a mark of +.5. (The Derrick Rose Injury effect.) The Sixers' Evan Turner said the Sixers were "dodging" the Heat in order to play Miami.
East No. 2 seed vs. No.7: Miami Heat (2) vs. New York Knicks (7). The Heat won the season series 3-0 with an efficiency differential of +12.6. It will be the first playoff meeting between friends Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Jeremy Lin will not play.
East No.3 seed vs. No.6: Indiana Pacers (3) vs. Orlando Magic (6). The Magic won the season series 3-1 with an efficiency differential of +Dwight Howard (actually 3.6). Howard is out for the season.
East No.4 seed vs. No.5: Boston Celtics (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5). The Celtics won the season series 2-1 but Atlanta won the efficiency differential by +.8. The Celtics essentially conceded homecourt advantage to Atlanta this week, mostly because they will have more fans in Atlanta than the Hawks.
West No.1 seed vs. No.8: San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Utah Jazz (8). The Spurs won the season series 3-1 with an efficiency differential of +5.9. Utah will attempt to send the Spurs to the first consecutive first-round eliminations from a No.1 seed in NBA history.
West No.2 seed vs. No.7: Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7). Oklahoma City won the season series 3-1 with an efficiency differential of +2.1. The Thunder look to exorcise the demons of the Western Conference Finals last season in which they fell to the eventual champion Mavericks.
West No.3 vs. No.6: Los Angeles Lakers (3) vs. Denver Nuggets (6). The Lakers won the season series 3-1, Denver won the efficiency differential with a mark of +.8. The Lakers face the team they eliminated in the Western Conference Finals three years ago on the way to their first title of the Pau Gasol era.
West No.4 vs. No.5.: Memphis Grizzlies (4) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5). The Clippers won the season series 2-1 with an efficiency differential of +6.3. The Grizzlies hold homecourt advantage in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. The Clippers are in the playoffs for what feels like franchise history (actually 2006).