The Play-In starts on April 12th and no matter how you feel about it as a concept,
you have to admit you’re excited. Looking at the standings, we currently have the
Brooklyn Nets facing the Charlotte Hornets in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the
New Orleans Pelicans facing the San Antonio Spurs in the West. That being said, the
Eastern conference is a tough division this year. Think about the fact that the super star
studded Brooklyn Nets are in the play in the tournament, as the 10th seed.
We already know the Lakers won’t be seen in the postseason, and there is a chance
the Nets don’t make it past the play-in. Remember these were two of the top favorites to
win the Championship for this season. There have been some sneaky teams that stepped
up and played above their expectations. Since the pickup of CJ McCollum, the Pelicans
look like they have an extra kick and I personally would take them to come out of the
play-in with ease against the Spurs. CJ McCollum averaging 26.2 points along with
Brandon Ingram’s 22.9, they are a serious threat to some of the weaker teams in the
The Matchup between the Timberwolves and LA Clippers is another one to keep
an eye on. The Clippers have made it through the season without their top stars in Kawhi
Leonard and Paul George. Now with PG returning perfectly for postseason, it makes
them that much scarier. Now on the other hand, the Timberwolves are young, talented,
and tough. Anthony Edwards averaging 21 ppg along with the Three Point Contest
winner, Karl Anthony Towns (24.5 ppg, 9.8 reb) is a serious problem to any team in the
league. There is size, skill, and fierceness.
Lastly we have the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers going head to head.
Atlanta has recently picked up the pace and after last year’s end of the season momentum,
it looks like they might be up to it again. Trea Young is playing at a high level as always
averaging 28.3 ppg and 9.6 apg. Trae along with some veterans is always dangerous,
especially to a very young but skillful team in the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs,
currently in 7th seed are coming in strong with their all star player in Darius Garland
averaging 21.6 ppg. This is a stacked team and a young team, that with time will become
more and more dangerous. Their incredible size in Markkanen, Mobley, and Allen poses
a threat to anyone on the boards and defensively speaking. That will be the deciding
factor in the matchup with the Hawks. Will they be available and can they stay healthy! I see Trae Young and the Hawks coming out of this one due to the vets on the team and
Trae Young’s killer mentality.
Enjoy the play in, and as things might move around, looking at the current
matchups this will be one of the most exciting NBA playoffs we have seen in a while.