NBA Playoffs Preview

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This year’s NBA playoffs have never been filled with this much uncertainty on who will be crowned champions.

Evan Suraci, Sports Editor

The 2020-21 NBA season has come to a close and the playoffs and play-in game are finally here. The new format now consists of 20 teams with the old format having 16 teams. The NBA playoffs have never been filled with this amount of uncertainty on who will be crowned the champions when the playoffs are over. 

The six teams that clinched spots from the eastern conference are the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks, and the Miami Heat. The Hawks and Knicks being new to the playoff picture and squaring off against each other and hoping to show that they will always belong in future postseason contests. The four teams playing in the play-in games are the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers, and the Charlotte Hornets. Even with two of those teams advancing to the playoffs, Vegas odds have the second-seeded Brooklyn Nets expected to win out the eastern conference and match up against the winner of the western conference.

In the tough western conference, the teams who clinched a spot in the western conference playoffs are the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Portland Trail Blazers. However, the headlines of the western conference playoffs are actually in the play-in games where the Lakers will play the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies will take on the San Antonio Spurs. Who could have thought that Steph Curry and Lebron James, two of the best players in the league, would have to play against each other to keep their playoff hopes alive? While the Lakers are seeded 7th in the west out of the ten playoff teams, they are still projected to win out the western conference and face off against the eastern conference favorites, the Brooklyn Nets.

The NBA play-in games start Tuesday with the first game starting at 6:30 between the Hornets and Pacers and the last game starting at 10:00 P.M. between the Lakers and Warriors. The NBA play-in games should be interesting to see who advances on to the actual playoffs and possibly create an underdog run.