The roller-coaster ride that has been the 2013-14 NBA regular season came to an end Wednesday night, and with it, came the start of a new, more thrilling ride: The NBA Playoffs.

The playoffs are the apex of excitement among players and fans in the league, whether their team is playing in the postseason or not. The intensity reaches a completely new level come playoff time, and as the nail-biting games come down to the closing seconds, there are very few things more exhilarating in the world of sports.

This year, the postseason comes bundled with heated rivalries, top matchups and much more.

Here are nine reasons to watch the playoffs this year.


You can follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at @MitchKunzler.