The NBA postseason finally begins on Tuesday after each team has played 82 regular-season games. After a grueling regular season, some teams still have to compete in the play-in games to get to the actual playoffs. Let’s look at the two matchups on Tuesday that guarantees a playoff spot for the winners.
No. 8 Hawks at No. 7 Heat
The Miami Heat ended the season as the seven seed. It has been a struggle for the Heat the past couple of years after making it to the NBA Finals just three years ago in 2020 when they lost the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat are expected to win this game which would place them against the Boston Celtics who have the second seed. Whoever loses between these two teams will get another chance to win in the play-in games against the winner of the East nine vs ten game on Wednesday. In the 2022 playoffs the Heat beat the Hawks in four games.
No. 8 Timberwolves at No. 7 Lakers
The Timberwolves appear to be falling apart as Rudy Gobert, who the Timberwolves gave up a lot for in a trade, punched his teammate Kyle Anderson in the last game of the season. Jaden McDaniels also is out after punching a wall in the tunnel in the same game. Still, they have Karl Anthony-Towns and Anthony Edwards among other quality players and could still compete in this game and win. The Lakers are expected to win though to get to face Memphis in the first round. Whoever loses will face either the nine or ten team in the West, depending on who wins that game.
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