The NBA Playoffs: 10 Things to Know as the Tourney Begins

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Storylines are everywhere as the NBA playoffs begin
The best time of the NBA season is here. The playoffs have arrived, the 16-team field that will vie for the Larry O'Brien Trophy is set, and here are 10 storylines to watch along the way:

HOME DROUGHTS

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A pair of long droughts for fans in Los Angeles and New York could end in the next few days.

The last time the Los Angeles Lakers won a playoff game in their own building, Staples Center, was May 18, 2012. (Remember, everything last season was at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.)

Let's put how long ago May 2012 was in some context: At that point, LeBron James still had zero NBA championships, and the Lakers' win that day was against an Oklahoma City team that had Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

And it has been more than six years — since April 27, 2015 — since a home team won a playoff game in New York. The Brooklyn Nets beat Atlanta that day; the Nets haven't won a home postseason contest since. The New York Knicks open at home Saturday, against Atlanta, in their first playoff game since 2013.

PLAYOFF POOL

This season's NBA playoff pool is just over $20.8 million, down about 10.6% from last year.

All 16 playoff teams are guaranteed a piece of that pool, with the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds getting at least $310,745 just for making the first round.

The Utah Jazz have already secured no less than $1,436,750 — some of that for finishing with the NBA's best record, some more for winning the West's No. 1 seed. If the Jazz win the NBA title, they would wind up with $6,104,876, or roughly 30% of the pool.

The Los Angeles Lakers received $6,156,251 for winning last year's title.

This is the fourth consecutive season in which the pool will be at least $20 million.

LEBRON'S RECORDS

Lakers star LeBron James enters these playoffs as the NBA's all-time leader in minutes, games, points, shots taken, shots made, free throws taken, free throws…
Tim Reynolds
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