The NBA Play In tournament begins Tuesday night with the Eastern Conference matchups then moves to the West on Wednesday. Let’s look at each matchup of this controversial new wrinkle to the NBA Playoffs.
Hornets @ Pacers
LaMelo Ball leads the Hornets to Indiana after losing the 8 seed on the last day of the season with a loss to the Wizards. Gordon Hayward remains sidelined which really hurts Charlotte’s chances. Damontas Sabonis has been playing great and will need to continue to do so if the Pacers want to have a chance.
Prediction: Hornets Win, play for 8 seed and lose to BOS.
Wizards @ Celtics
Washington heads to Boston as the hotter team thanks in large part to Russell Westbrook putting the team on his back and willing his way to the 8 seed. With Bradley Beal getting healthy as well the Wizards have a great chance against a Celtics team limping into the postseason. With Jaylen Brown out for the season, a lot of the pressure falls on Jayson Tatum.
Prediction: Wizards win to secure 7 seed.
Warriors @ Lakers
The Lakers are beginning to get healthy which is bad news for the rest of the Western Conference. While LeBron has talked a lot about how he won’t ever be the same after this recent ankle injury, I believe it is just that, talk. The Warriors have been playing great as of late, due in large part to exceptional play by MVP candidate Stephen Curry.
Prediction: Lakers win, secure 7 seed.
Spurs @ Grizzlies
Memphis has had a better than excepted season after Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. each missed a large part of the season. The Grizzlies play great team ball and should be exciting to watch. Pop has gotten the most out of his Spurs team this year in what was expected to be a developmental season.
Prediction: Grizzlies win then lose to GSW for 8 seed.
It will be interesting to see how this Play In tourney shakes out but the good stuff starts once the Play In is over! When the Top 8 seeds in each conference are finalized I’ll have another set of predictions, this time the real deal!