The play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference is poised to be an exciting one as late surges by the Pacers and Wizards are making things interesting, for the Celtics and Hornets who hold the 7th and 8th seed. The western conference play-in is seemingly set in stone as I do not believe the Spurs or Grizzlies have a chance of beating the Lakers or Warriors for the last two spots.
The Celtics seemed like a surefire playoff team but with the recent season ending injury to Jaylen Brown the Celtics seem vulnerable to an upset. As for the Hornets, injuries have plagued them all season and halted their momentum. As exciting and promising as they are I do not believe they will make the playoffs. The Wizards and Pacers should give several Eastern conference playoff teams a cause to be concerned. Domantas Sabonis and Caris Levert have been playing like All-Stars. Even with injuries to Myles Turner and Malcolm Brogdon, the Pacers have stayed afloat. If they are somehow able to get Turner and Brogdon back, I believe they have a great chance to secure one of the final playoff spots. The Pacers are currently 7th in the league in points per game and 2nd in assists. They are more than capable of exploding and winning a play-in spot.
The Washington Wizards are probably the most intriguing play-in team. Bradly Beal and Russell Westbrook can absolutely take over a game and upset any team on any given night. . With Bradly Beal being capable of going off for 40 at any time and Westbrook continuing to be the triple-double machine that he is, they have a great opportunity to make it to the playoffs.
As it pertains to the Hornets, I’m concerned that injuries and COVID-19 will haunt them in their quest for a playoff spot. Gordon Hayward who has been arguably their best player has not played a game since April 2nd due to an foot injury and will potentially miss the play-in. Miles Bridges is currently in the leagues health and safety protocol and Cody Martin continues to battle an ankle injury. With all these injuries I believe the Hornets will miss the playoffs this season.
I believe the last two play-in spots will go to the Celtics and Wizards. with Jayson Tatum being the superstar that he is, I do not believe that the Celtics will miss the playoffs. Also with Brown out, Kemba Walker has the opportunity to step up and show why he was viewed as one of the best point guards in the league not long ago. As for the Wizards, I believe they got hot at the right time. Led by Westbrook, they play with heart and grit every night. With the Pacers being hobbled and their defensive leader Myles Turner being out indefinitely, the Wizards have the perfect opportunity to claw their way into the final playoff spot.
As always don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and check out our Youtube channel for all of our podcasts and videos! This we on We Got Balls, Dean and I recap our NFL Draft predictions (hint we were on point), Aaron Rodgers, Lakers vs Warriors potential and is Westbrook a top 5 PG all time?