The Chicago Bulls achieved several "firsts" since 1998: the East's best record, a Central Division title, and over 60 victories. They also clinched the NBA's best record for the first time since 1997, guaranteeing home-court advantage in every round. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1998.
The Indiana Pacers appeared in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, as did the Memphis Grizzlies. The New York Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 2004, but this was their first playoff appearance as an above-.500 team since 2001. The Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Hornets appeared for the third time in 4 years. The other 11 teams were in the 2010 NBA Playoffs. The Oklahoma City Thunder headed to the playoffs with their first Northwest Division title under this incarnation.
This was the final postseason appearance for the New Orleans Hornets franchise, as they were renamed the New Orleans Pelicans before the 2013–14 season.
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