The measurement that is "closest" to the predicted target measurement is known as the "nearest neighbor" (NN) measurement in tracking. A common method currently in wide use for tracking in clutter is the so-called NN filter, which uses only the NN measurement as if it were the true one. The purpose of this work is two fold. First, the following theoretical results are derived: the a priori probabilities of all three data association events (updates with correct measurement, with incorrect measurement, and no update), the probability density functions (pdfs) of the NN measurement conditioned on the association events, and the one-step-ahead prediction of the matrix mean square error (MSE) conditioned on the association events. Secondly, a technique for prediction without recourse to expensive Monte Carlo simulations of the performance of tracking in clutter with the NN filter is presented. It can quantify the dynamic process of tracking divergence as well as the steady-state performance. The technique is a new development along the line of the recently developed general approach to the performance prediction of algorithm with both continuous and discrete uncertainties.