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NBA play-in event: Guidelines, predictions on which groups will earn playoff berths

The 2022 NBA play-in event options 4 groups in every convention preventing for the final two spots within the NBA playoffs within the East and the West. The NBA debuted the play-in event in its present iteration final season, and it produced some memorable basketball regardless of the loud public objections of LeBron James. This yr’s play-in event is once more loaded with star-power as a few of the recreation’s largest names compete to maintain their season going.

The 2022 NBA play-in event kicks off with a pair of matchups between the No. 7 seed and No. 8 seed in every convention, with the winner mechanically incomes the No. 7 seed within the NBA playoff bracket. Within the East, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Within the West, the Minnesota Timberwolves will host the Los Angeles Clippers. The winner within the East will get the Boston Celtics within the first spherical of the playoffs, whereas the West winner will face the Memphis Grizzlies.

The 9-10 matchups will occur on Wednesday. The Atlanta Hawks host the Charlotte Hornets within the East, whereas the New Orleans Pelicans host the San Antonio Spurs within the West. The winners will advance to play the losers of the 7-8 recreation. The winner of that matchup will get the No. 8 seed in every convention.

We’ll clarify how the play-in event works, and supply predictions for what to anticipate as the ultimate playoff spots are decided. You may guess on the play-in event and the remainder of the 2022 NBA Playoffs at DraftKings Sportsbook.

2022 NBA play-in event schedule

Tuesday, April 12

East: No. 8 Cleveland Cavaliers at No. 7 Brooklyn Nets, 7 p.m., TNT

West: No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers at No. 7 Minnesota Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m., TNT

Wednesday, April 13

East: No. 10 Charlotte Hornets at No. 9 Atlanta Hawks, 7 p.m., ESPN

West: No. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans, 9:30 p.m., ESPN

(all instances Jap)

2022 NBA play-in event predictions

Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks

Picture by Sarah Stier/Getty Pictures

The Internet will beat the Cavs to earn the No. 7 seed within the East

Brooklyn was the preseason favourite to win the 2022 championship. Then Kyrie Irving was unavailable for a lot of the season as a result of he refused to get to the Covid vaccine, and James Harden ultimately compelled a commerce to the Philadelphia 76ers. Whereas this Nets group appears to be like nothing just like the one we picked to win all of it in Oct., they need to nonetheless have sufficient to simply beat the Cavs and safe the No. 7 seed within the East.

Kevin Durant nonetheless holds the title of one of the best scorer on the earth. His outstanding playoff efficiency in opposition to the Milwaukee Bucks final yr practically pushed Brooklyn to the convention finals regardless of accidents to Irving and Harden. Irving is now out there for dwelling video games after New York Metropolis partially lifted its vaccine mandate. The Nets can have the 2 greatest gamers on the ground. Sadly, Cleveland doesn’t have the expertise to compete.

The Cavs had been unimaginable this yr till accidents took their toll. Cleveland shall be enjoying with out star heart Jarrett Allen, in addition to depth ahead Dean Wade and guard Collin Sexton, who has been out with a knee damage a lot of the season. Cleveland’s future is vivid because of rookie stud Evan Mobley, but it surely feels just like the Cavs simply don’t have sufficient to win this recreation.

The Wolves will beat the Clippers for the No. 7 seed within the West

It hasn’t been simple to be a Wolves fan during the last 20 years, but it surely lastly feels just like the franchise is headed in the correct route. Minnesota received 46 video games this yr, which is the second most for the group since 2004. Karl-Anthony Cities has put collectively an All-NBA caliber season within the center, whereas Anthony Edwards continues to emerge as among the finest younger guards within the league.

The Clippers nonetheless don’t have Kawhi Leonard, who has been out all yr recovering from a torn ACL. Paul George is within the lineup after battling accidents a lot of the season, and Reggie Jackson and Nic Batum present a strong supporting forged. The query for LA is that if they will decelerate a Wolves offense that has been among the finest in basketball after the All-Star break. With a hungry dwelling crowd behind them and a deep roster of offensive weapons, we’ll take the Wolves to win this recreation and seize the No. 7 seed.

We’ll take the Hawks over the Hornets, and the Pelicans over the Spurs

The Hawks’ charmed run to the Jap Convention Finals final yr continues to be recent in our thoughts. Trae Younger has had one other wonderful season, however accidents and inconsistency to his supporting forged pushed the Hawks down the standings. We nonetheless suppose Atlanta is harmful if they will make the playoffs, and anticipate them to defeat LaMelo Ball and the Hornets to maintain their season alive.

We’ll take the Pelicans over the Spurs within the West 9-10 matchup. The Pelicans are loaded with offensive firepower even with out injured star Zion Williamson. New Orleans has Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Jonas Valanciunas to hold the offense, whereas rookie stud Herb Jones can defend anybody on the opposite finish. We’ll decide the Pelicans to maintain their season alive.

Give us the Hawks and the Pelicans to make the playoffs because the No. 8 seed

We’ll take Atlanta over Cleveland in an elimination recreation to make the playoffs. We’ll take the Pelicans to upset the Clippers to seize the ultimate spot within the West playoff bracket. Something can occur in a one-game situation with the season on the road, but it surely seems like New Orleans and Atlanta nonetheless have extra basketball in entrance of them.

How the NBA play-in event works

Right here’s a assist information by way of NBA.com.

Groups ending within the No. 7 and No. 8 seed within the common season have extra margin for error within the play-in event. The winner of the 7-8 video games mechanically makes the playoffs because the No. 7 seed, whereas the loser performs the winner of the 9-10 matchup for the No. 8 seed in every convention.

Groups which are eradicated within the play-in event shall be within the draft lottery, which is ordered by general file.

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