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The NBA Playoffs get underway on Saturday, and right away when you look at the pairings, a couple of first-round match-ups just jump right out at you.  In particular, the Boston – New York series, which opens on Saturday in Beantown.  That’s a tough hill to climb for any road team going into a city devastated by Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.  However, the Knicks hail from a town also known for it’s resiliency, and that is what brings intrigue to this pairing.  Plus, the on-going feud between Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony will be something to keep an eye on.  If you remember, the two were beefing on the court during one regular-season meeting and Melo actually paced around outside the Boston locker room waiting KG to exit.  He was removed by security before anything could transpire.

The other series that is fascinating is the Oklahoma City / Houston series where All-Star guard James Harden will go against the team her helped to lead to last year’s NBA Finals against Miami, then departed for Houston in the off-season.  Harden has stepped his game up to another level this season, but the Rockets roster hardly matches that of the Thunder, even without Kevin Durant.  In San Antonio, the Spurs expecting to make quick work of the Los Angeles Lakers, who enter the playoffs without their superstar Kobe Bryant.  The world champs will open against the Milwaukee Bucks in Miami on Sunday afternoon, and deer hunting season is on at South Beach.