In most sports, including the NBA, there is a playoff bracket that the the champion has to complete to win the title. In the NFL, you cannot lose a single game in order to win the Super Bowl. For the NBA, it is a 7 game series format. Team A (the one with the best record) plays at home for the first two games. Then Team B gets two games at home. Then after that, the games alternate. Whichever team wins 4 games first wins the series. While this has been the system for very long time, the NBA is thinking about changing its format to having a play-in bracket or picking the top 16 teams from either conference instead of 8 teams from each conference.
Around three years ago, the Golden State Warriors established themselves as the NBA's powerhouse. They won 2 out of 3 championships and the one that they lost was a fluke. This playoffs could go their way, or someone else could claim the NBA throne. The Houston Rockets are currently in front of the Warriors in standings, causing many to think that the Warriors' brief dynasty in which they set the NBA record for the best single-season record is over.
The East race is as close as the West race, if not closer.
As you can see, there is only a 10 game difference between the 3 seed and the 9 seed which is quite unusual.
The NBA playoffs are very exciting and very fun to watch.