The NBA Playoffs are almost here. Before they begin, the NBA will play their second play-in tournament to decide the seven and eight seeds in each conference. Below we predict what teams will make it out of this tournament and how the games will play out.
The Hawks may have been a fluke last year making it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Besides Trae Young, this team lacks talent. Don’t expect them to win over the Hornets and then probably the Cavaliers to make the eight seed.
After a long season the Nets ultimately were able to make a run at the end of the year to get the seventh spot. This is a fairly safe place to be in the play-in tournament. They will get home court advantage against the Cavaliers in the first game, which they should win. If they don’t win, they have another shot at the eight seed against either the Hornets or Hawks. They should be safely in.
They unluckily drew the Brooklyn Nets in the first game. Don’t expect them to win this, but they should win at least the next game to make it to the eighth spot.
The Hornets barely made it in to the play-in games. At times they looked like one of the best teams in the league and other times they look awful. Expect them to have a close game against Atlanta in the first game and then have another close one against Cleveland if they make it to that second game.
The Clippers got Paul George and Norman Powell back to the lineup and should now be taken seriously. As the eight seed they will get two chances to win one game. Expect them to win the first game against Minnesota to get the seventh seed or win the next game if they don’t.
They are one of the surprise teams this year. They were unlucky to draw the seven spot and will likely drop the first play-in game to the Clippers. Look for them to win their second game though against the Spurs or Pelicans. Although a game vs New Orleans could be close.
New Orleans Pelicans
With CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram healthy, this is a good team. They should make easy work of the Spurs in their first game and then give either the Clippers, or more likely Minnesota, a run for their money to get the eighth spot.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs came out of nowhere to pass the Lakers for the final play-in spot. They are hot right now, but don’t expect them to beat a much improved Pelicans team in the first game.
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