As the common season attracts to an in depth, every workforce has one thing to play for: seeding or draft picks. With the inclusion of play-in video games within the 2021 NBA playoffs, the scramble for seeding is wild – and extra essential than ever, with important postson implications in nearly each sport.
Play-in matchups after Saturday’s sport:
Game 1: No. 8 Charlotte Hornet at No. 7 Boston Celtics – winner is No. 7 seed in playoffs; Loser advances to play-in
Game 2: No. 10 Indiana Pacers at No. 7 Washington Wizards – winner advances to play-in; The loser is eradicated
Game 3: Wizards / Pacers winner loser in Celtics / Hornets – winner is quantity 8 seed in playoff
Play-in video games will happen from Tuesday to Friday.
Here’s an outline of Sunday’s matchup and what the outcomes will imply:
Who will make it to the highest six within the west?
Lakers at Pelicans, 9 PM ET
The Lakers can pull out of the play-in match on Sunday with just a little assist from the Denver Nuggets. If LA tops the New Orleans Pelicans and Nuggets on the Portland Trail Blazers, LA will find yourself because the No. 6 seed within the Western Conference playoffs. If the Lakers lose, they may host a play-in sport in opposition to Golden State or Memphis on Wednesday.
New Orleans might be with out its younger famous person Sion Williamson, who has missed the final 5 video games with a fracture of the left index finger. The Pelicans have already been eradicated from the post-season controversy. – Dave McMenamin
Shear on Thunder, 9 PM ET
After almost each member of the LA Clippers’ personal rotation sitting and dropping to the Houston Rockets on Friday night time, the Clippers might end fourth within the West with a loss to Oklahoma City on Sunday. The fourth seed will all however assure that the Clippers and Lakers won’t meet till the convention finals – if each groups advance.
On the opposite hand, the Thunder are going to be determined to lose as soon as once more to make sure they end third with the Magic within the lottery standings. Oklahoma City has performed pretty nicely within the final a number of weeks in dropping, going from April 1 to 1-23. – Tim Bontemps
Nuggets on the Blazers, 9 PM ET
For the Portland Trail Blazers, it isn’t sophisticated: beat the Denver Nuggets, get the highest six seeds. The Blazers might additionally transfer to fifth place if the Dallas Mavericks lose to Minnesota because of a tiebreaker in hand. Who Portland will play within the first spherical is sophisticated, and contains Denver.
If the Blazers win on Sunday, the Nuggets fall to fourth place, however solely when the Thunder additionally beat the Clippers. If the Clippers win, the Clips are 3-seeded and the Nuggets are in fourth place, it doesn’t matter what. And with the Lakers doubtlessly rising as a 6-seed, transferring to a 3-seed might not sound interesting. – Royce Young
Battle for 8-seed within the West
Grizzlies at Warriors, 3:30 pm ET
The winner will get eighth seed within the Western Conference – a giant distinction as a result of both the Golden State Warriors or the Memphis Grizzlies would find yourself with two probabilities at a playoff berth.
Sunday’s winner might attempt to get seventh seed within the play-in match. The loser in Sunday’s sport must win two straight video games to qualify for the post-season. – Nick Friedel
Pre-arranging play-in seeds
Pacer at Raptors, 1 pm ET
While the Indiana Pacers might not find yourself in eighth place within the Eastern Conference after dropping to the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday afternoon, a win in opposition to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday will guarantee Indiana hosts a 9–10 sport within the NBA’s inaugural sport. – Tuesday night time on the match. However, a defeat would imply that Indiana would both journey to Charlotte or journey to Tenth-seeded Washington within the East. – bontemps
Hornet at Wizards, 1 pm ET
Washington defeated Cleveland on Friday night time and the Charlotte Hornets misplaced in extra time to the New York Knicks on Saturday, with the sport between the Wizards and Hornets on Sunday afternoon changing into the unofficial begin of the Eastern Conference play-in match. The winner will turn out to be eighth seed, and the loser is more likely to be seeded Tenth, assuming the Pacers victory over the Raptors.
There can also be the matter of the NBA’s scoring race. With Bradley Beal’s go well with, right here he must seize the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, According to ESPN NBA Insider Kevin Pelton:
To catch Curry, Beal has to knock him out:
– 23 factors if curry 0-5. Scores between
– 22 factors if Curry scores 6-25. Be amongst
– 21 factors if Curry scores 24–4. Is between
– 20 factors if curry rating 48+ https://t.co/QsIuosl7kA
– Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) 16 May, 2021
Who will make the highest six within the East?
Celtics at Knicks, 1 pm ET
The Knicks solely need to win at Madison Square Garden on Sunday to complete fourth seed within the East. With a tiebreaker over Atlanta, a Knicks win means they may make sure to finish in a worse than a tie with the Hawks, so the primary spherical of the playoffs for them will start subsequent weekend. Boston is seeded seventh and is ready to see who might be its play-in rival at TD Garden on Tuesday night time. – bontemps
Rocket within the Hawks, 7 pm ET
The Hawks’ win might imply a house court docket benefit within the first spherical – however provided that they get just a little assist. If Atlanta ends in a tie with New York, the Knicks will personal the tiebreaker and ship the Hawks to fifth place. With New York’s first play on Sunday, Atlanta could have a good suggestion of whether or not a 4-seed is attainable. The Rockets don’t have anything to play for apart from pleasure, as they have already got the worst document in a protected league. – Andrew Lopez
Heat on piston, 8 pm ET
Miami’s loss to the Bucks on Saturday night time means the Heat are on observe to obtain the sixth seed and could have a rematch with the identical Milwaukee workforce they defeated in final season’s Eastern Conference semifinals. The Heat are one sport behind from the Knicks and Hawks, who’re in a tie for fourth place. The Heat have a tiebreaker over the Knicks, however not above the Hawks. If the Knicks defeated the Celtics and the Hawks handle the commerce in opposition to the Rockets on Sunday, the Heat’s conclusion in opposition to the Pistons won’t matter in relation to Seeding. – Friedel
Who will win the #1 seed within the West?
Suns at spurs, 2 pm ET
In Saturday’s rematch of the bout, the Suns will as soon as once more attempt to outdo San Antonio as they proceed their quest for the No. 1 seed. The Suns can even need to count on Utah to slide away in opposition to the Sacramento Kings within the latter sport to comb the Jazz for the highest spot. Phoenix can’t fall lower than seconds.
Meanwhile, the Spurs are set for Tenth place, to allow them to as soon as once more go for resting gamers, as they did on Saturday with Demar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Dejonte Murray and Jacob Poelt. – Lopez
Jazz on the Kings, 9 pm ET
It’s straightforward for the Utah Jazz: a win over the Sacramento Kings claims West’s high choice, whatever the consequence in opposition to the Suns Spurs. It would additionally give the Jazz an outright finest document within the league for the primary time in franchise historical past. (Utah is tied for the NBA’s finest information in 1997–98 and 1998–99.) The Jazz will a minimum of be tied for the NBA’s finest document, it doesn’t matter what, however the Suns personal the tiebreaker over them, so the Kings The loss to Utah could also be as a result of second seed.
The Kings, tied with the Pelicans for the ninth-worst document, would fall from eighth to Tenth within the lottery odds. – Tim McMahon
Other fascinating matchups to look at
Cavaliers on the Nets, 7 pm ET
The best path for the No. 2 seed within the Eastern Conference is for Brooklyn to win each of their video games this weekend. Brooklyn took discover of the primary a part of that equation with their win over the Bulls on Saturday afternoon.
Now, the Nets will look and see what occurs between the Miami Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night time. The consequence of that sport not solely impacts the Nets’ playoff seedings – if the Bucks lose on Saturday, it secures the No. 2 seed for Brooklyn – nevertheless it does have an effect on Steve Nash who was eradicated from Sunday’s competitors Can select to do with the Cavaliers. Nash stated he prefers to not play James Harden, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant on Sunday – who has a historical past of harm. If the Nets can cease their seeding on Sunday night time, then the choice to relaxation these gamers turns into straightforward. – Malika Andrews
Mavericks at Timberwolves, 9 pm ET
The Dallas Mavericks know they may face both the Denver Nuggets or LA Clippers within the first spherical, however the Mavs could have no readability earlier than tipoff as to how the result of their common season finale will decide their playoff matchup. A win over the Timberwolves would earn the fifth seed for the Mavs, however the Clippers would take fourth place in the event that they handle to lose to the Thunder or if the Nuggets defeated the Trail Blazers. Dallas may lose on Sunday and watch the Clippers in a 3-6 matchup. A Mavs win mixed with a Clippers win and a Nuggets defeat would end in a Denver vs. Dallas 4-5 matchup.
The Minnesota Timberwells, whose choice goes to the Golden State Warriors if it doesn’t make it to the highest three, are tied for the fifth-worst document with the Cleveland Cavaliers, one loss wanting the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder. – McMahon
Bucks at Bulls, 9 PM ET
Milwaukee ought to have a good suggestion of whether or not he can nonetheless get second seed in sport time. Brooklyn’s matchup in opposition to Cleveland ends two hours earlier, and if the Nets lose, a win over the Bulls would give the Bucks a 2-spot within the East. Meanwhile, the Bulls place themselves eighth within the lottery. Defeating Milwaukee would push Chicago right into a three-way bout with New Orleans and Sacramento. – bontemps
Sixers in Magic, 7 pm ET
After defeating Orlando by Philadelphia on Friday night time, the Sixers entered Sunday’s sport with nothing to play for, already taking high seed within the Eastern Conference playoffs.
On the opposite hand, magic has all the pieces to lose. Losing Sunday’s competitors would be certain that Orlando can be no worse than a tie for third with Oklahoma City in subsequent month’s NBA Draft Lottery. The Magic are considered one of a number of groups on the backside of the standings who might strive their finest to lose one ultimate time earlier than heading house for the summer time. – bontemps