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This reads too much like a straight-up list of the playoff seeds. As such, I would like to propose a slight alteration.

You still get run over by a truck a week ago, go through your Affirmative Coma, wake up happier and healthier and with a million new Twitter followers who will never, ever harass you. The nurse comes in and tells you you’ve been out for a week.

“Wow,” you say. “Now, I’m sure there are more important questions I should be asking, but…what seed did we get for the playoffs?” She gives a number. You celebrate, or mourn, as is your lot.

“Okay,” you say once you’ve recovered. “Who’s our opponent?”

Your reaction to this answer is the team’s Playoff Scariness.

Why the change? The point is to mediate your reaction according to the expectations for a team in your position. Beating the 1 seed will always be tougher than beating the 8 seed, but that comes with the territory. Terror sets in when things might go much, much worse than expected.

Scary teams by this metric include the Grizzlies, Wizards, and Bucks. Not-so-scary teams include the Celtics and Hawks.

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