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The play-in

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

To refresh our memories, the NBA play-in will determine the 7th and 8th teams that will go to the playoffs.  It begins after the 82-game season had ended, in this case, today, April 17, PH time, up to this Saturday.

The top six teams of the Eastern and Western Conferences are automatic entries to the post season while the 7th to 10th teams will battle for the two final playoffs spots.

The number 7 team in each conference will host the number 8 team with the winners automatically getting the 7th playoff spot.  The losing team gets another chance to qualify and will host the winner of the 9 vs 10 game.  Likewise, the number 9 team will host the number 10 team.  The loser of this game will be eliminated.

The matchup between the loser of the 7 vs 8 game and the winner of the 9 vs 10 game will determine the final 8th playoff spot.

The EC 7/8 game between Miami and Philadelphia is scheduled tomorrow.  The 9/10 between Atlanta and Chicago is also tomorrow.

The WC 7/8 game between New Orleans and LA Lakers will be today followed by the 9/10 game between Golden State and Sacramento.

The NBA Playoffs begins on Sunday.

If the Lakers maintain their momentum from their final season game against the Pelicans, then they’ll make it as the 7th seed.  But they’ll go up next against 2nd seeded Denver, which they went 0-3 in the regular season, with an average losing margin of 10 points.  They simply have no answer for Nikola Jokic who almost averaged a triple-double with 26.4 pts, 12.4 rebs and 9 assists in 3 games.

It’s still a must win for them because if they lose, they must go up against either the Warriors or the Kings, which they don’t have a winning run also.  In their 4 regular season games against GSW, LAL only won once.  The Kings got LAL’s number, winning all their 4 regular season games.  De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and former Laker Malik Monk mocked the Lakers.

Anthony Davis picked a good time to be injured and could not be 100% today.

The Heat – Sixers matchup will be about even as they had split their 4 games.  It all depends on the availability of players.  As reported, Kevin Love, Terry Rozier, Jr. and Duncan Robinson are ‘game time decision’.  Their combined season average of 13.8 ppg will help their playoff chase.  The Sixers badly need Joel Embiid who’s recovering from a knee injury.  It’s also a game time decision for him.

The Bulls will have a slight edge over the Hawks, but they could miss shooting guard Ayo Dosunmu and center Andre Drummond who are both nursing leg injuries.  Atlanta has center Clint Capella nursing a thigh strain, but he should be ready for tomorrow.

Na hala, let’s get it on!

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