If you’re hip to pompous marketing campaigns, then you know that the NBA Playoffs is “where amazing happens.” In reality, it’s where celebratory Tarzan calls and griping over whistles are made slightly less insufferable by team defense and hard fouls. And since we've reached the end of the season-that-almost-wasn’t we should show some respect for the playoffs that almost never happened.

During the ’98-‘99 strike-shortened NBA season, the No. 8 seed New York Knicks made it all the way to the Finals. Does that mean this years' Knicks will be reppin’ the East!? FOH. It means that in a compressed season the sample size is smaller, the players are drained, and we don’t know as much about these teams as we usually do. But that’s not going to stop us from forecasting the entire first round with impunity.

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