First-round playoff history that gives hope to eighth seeds

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The playoffs are getting closer. Franchises at the top of the NBA are making preparations to ensure they are ready for postseason action. Unless you're Golden State, who are chasing history.

While those around mid-table are scrapping for every win as they hope to book their place in the playoffs as one of the lower seeds. 

Form, statistics and the majority of previous seasons would lead you to believe that the top seeds will comfortably see off their opponents in the first round.

However, there are occasions when the form books get thrown out the window and the underdogs spring a huge surprise. Here are three examples of when David overcame Goliath (since the playoff series was changed to seven games). 

Golden State Warriors 4-2 Dallas Mavericks - 2007

2007 regular season MVP Dirk Nowitzki was powerless to stop the Dallas Mavericks becoming the first number one seed to fall to an eight since the series' were expanded to seven games. 

Dirk had been in incredible form throughout the campaign, averaging 24.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, but a combination of Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis saw the Dubs over the line. 

Having finished two games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the final spot, expectations were low for the Bay Area franchise. However, the tone was set in game one as Davis dropped 33 with Nowitzki being limited to 14.

The Mavericks hit back in game two, but three and four were won by the Warriors at the Oracle Arena, despite the European forward's best efforts. 

The series was at 3-2 with game six in California, and the Warriors cruised to an 111-86 win. Golden State couldn't keep their dream run alive as the fell 4-1 to the Utah Jazz in round two.

Memphis Grizzlies 4-2 San Antonio Spurs - 2011

The San Antonio Spurs came into the playoffs of the back of a 61-21 regular season that saw them finish ahead of Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks by four games. 

Led by the trio of Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, the Spurs had realistic aims of claiming their fifth championship. However, the Memphis Grizzlies had other ideas. 

Despite holding homecourt advantage, the Spurs dropped the first game at the AT&T Center as Zach Randolph's 25 points and 14 rebounds led the Grizzlies to a surprise victory. 

Memphis held a 3-1 lead heading back to Texas after two games at the FedExForum, but the Spurs couldn't take the game to a decider after winning an overtime thriller in the fifth outing. 

The Grizzlies wrapped up the series 4-2 on their homecourt, but their playoff dreams came undone in the next round as they fell 4-3 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Philadelphia 76ers 4-2 Chicago Bulls - 2012

The Chicago Bulls entered the 2012 playoffs with realistic aims of ending their post-Michael Jordan title drought, having clinched the number one seed in the NBA by virtue of head-to-head after finishing level with the San Antonio Spurs on 50-16.

The crushing blows for the Bulls were losing star men Derrick Rose after the first game and Joakim Noah after three. The point guard led Chicago to victory in the opening contest of the series with the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 23 points and dropping nine dimes.

However, he was injured for the remainder of the series and the Sixers took full advantage. Jrue Holiday led them to a 17-point win in game two at the United Center. 

Philadelphia took a 3-1 lead after two games at the Wells Fargo Center. Spencer Hawes led the scoring for the home side on both nights and Andre Iguodala crashed the boards. 

A stunning single-point win in game seven, where Iguodala led the scoring, sent the Sixers through. However, their joy was short-lived as they fell in seven to the fourth seed, the Boston Celtics.

Eastern Conference
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Northwest Division
Dallas Mavericks
Atlantic Division
Pacific Division
Central Division
Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors
Southeast Division
Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies

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