The mini pre-NBA Playoffs tournament looks like it is here to stay for now. So, if you’ve been wondering – how does the NBA Play-In work? Then look no further.
As for the results? Well, in the Eastern Conference, 7th-placed finishers the Minnesota Timberwolves saw off The Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1. That meant that the Timberwolves progressed immediately to the NBA Playoffs proper as 7th seed. No change there.
The Clippers were forced to go again against the winner of the 9th v 10th finishers game.
That turned out to be the New Orleans Pelicans, who dispatched the San Antonio Spurs by a clear 10 points. In the final game on the Eastern side, the Pelicans again triumphed. This time by just 4 points over the LA Clippers. This meant that they took 8th seed from 9th position.
It shows that the Play-In series does create upsets and drama.
Probably scant consolation for Lob City fans. Oh well.
BIT OF BAD LUCK THEY’RE HAVING…
THE EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF SEED LINEUP WAS AS FOLLOWS:
Atlanta Hawks (Go Hawks!)
On the Western side, the Brooklyn Nets stuck to the form book and beat out the 8th-placed Cleveland Cavaliers to take 7th seed in the NBA Playoffs from a 7th-placed finish after the regular season.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks (Go Hawks!) annihilated the Charlotte Hornets 132-103 to give themselves a shot at the Cavaliers and 8th seed. They duly did so, beating the Cavs by 6 points and securing their place. Again, the 9th placed team improved their lot and secured 8th seed and a berth in the Playoffs.
THAT LEFT THE SEEDED LINEUP FOR THE WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS AS FOLLOWS:
Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Pelicans
The NBA Playoffs begin…
Miami Heat are lucky to beat the plucky Atlanta Hawks (Go Hawks – sob) 4-1
Boston Celtics destroy the Brooklyn Nets and progress 4-0
The Milwaukee Bucks put out the Chicago Bulls with ease and also progress 4-1
The Philadelphia 76ers have a touch of trouble with the Toronto Raptors. They take a 3-0 lead that they let slip to 3-2 before finishing the job.
1st seed Phoenix Suns edge out a spirited 8th seed in the New Orleans Pelicans from 2-2 after 4 games to take the series 4-2
Memphis Grizzlies also find themselves 2-2 with the Minnesota Timberwolves and also go on to win 4-2
Golden State Warriors make short work of the Denver Nuggets and put them out 4-1
Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz also go 2-2 in their series and the Mavs also come strong at the end and win 4-2
Miami Heat vs Philadelphia 76ers
1st seed plays 4th and Miami take a 2-game lead against the Philadelphia 76ers to go 2-0. They better the 76ers by a total of 29 points over 2 games and the situation doesn’t look good for the Philadelphia team. However, they rally strongly and bring the series level at 2-2 after bettering their opponents by a total of 28 points over the next 2 games. Things don’t get much closer than that. Miami strike back hard and take the next game by a clear 35 points! Despite a tighter game in the 6th, Miami are able to hold on and take the series 4-2 and secure their place in the Conference Finals.
Jimmy Butler is the standout player for the Heat with 27.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game across the series.
James Harden is the 76ers best player with 18.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. But it is not destined to be enough…
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
The other semi sees 2nd vs 3rd seed and is a very tight affair. Every step of the way sees Milwaukee take the lead, only for Boston to pull level again. The teams are separated by a total of only 13 points across 3 games to level at 3-3. Boston choose this moment to really step on the gas and win 3 of 4 quarters convincingly to double that combined 3-game difference in just 1 game to win 109-81 and take their place in the Conference Finals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the standout player for Milwaukee with an exceptional 33.9 points per game. He also takes a remarkable 14.7 rebounds and gives 7.1 assists.
IMAGINE PLAYING THAT WELL AND STILL GOING HOME? NIGHTMARE
Jayson Tatum is Boston’s star and averages 27.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on the way to the Finals.
The stage is set.
Read our reviews of the Eastern Conference Finals and the Western Conference Finals before heading over to our review of the NBA Finals.