NBA Announces Play-In Tournament Schedule That Could Include Lakers As No. 7 Seed

Sports 14 May, 2021 - 08:21pm 9 views

When is the NBA play in tournament?

When is the NBA Play-In Tournament? The Play-In Tournament will begin Tuesday, May 18, two days after the end of the regular season on May 16. The last game of the tournament will be May 21, with the first round of the NBA playoffs tipping off May 22. NBC4 WashingtonNBA Play-In Tournament 2021: Schedule, Rules and Format

What is the NBA play in tournament?

The NBA Play-In Tournament is the league's new format to determine the eight playoff teams from each conference. The system allows the ten top teams in the Eastern and Western Conference standings to play their chances for a spot in the playoffs, making the end of the regular season more exciting. NBC ChicagoNBA Play-In Tournament 2021: Rules, Dates and TV Schedule

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As the NBA regular season draws to a close, the collective focus for the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest of the league is shifting towards the postseason.

The Lakers had a tough road to win the historic organization’s 17th championship last year in the Orlando bubble, but after an injury-plagued 2020-21 season, the road to defend the title is shaping up to be even tougher.

As things currently stand, the Lakers are the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. If they win both of their final two games and either of the Portland Trail Blazers or Dallas Mavericks lose their final two then they could avoid the Play-In Tournament by moving up to No. 5 or 6.

The likelihood of that happening isn’t high though, making it increasingly possible that the Lakers will have to play their way into the postseason.

If that is the case then after the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday night, the Lakers would then have a couple of days to rest before taking on the No. 8 seed on Wednesday night:

The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies are currently tied for the Nos. 8 and 9 seeds and happen to play each other on the final day of the regular season. The winner of that game would go on to play the Lakers, if they stay at 7, and the loser would play the San Antonio Spurs in the 9/10 matchup.

If the Lakers win on Wednesday night then they would enter the postseason as the No. 7 seed, likely matching up with the Phoenix Suns in the first round. If they lose though then they would play the winner of the 9/10 game in a win-or-go-home contest.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is in a peculiar position when it comes to the final two games against the Indiana Pacers and New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday and Sunday.

While the team is still working key players back from injury, it also remains to be seen what the standings implications will be when they take the court with so many games going on at the same time.

There is potential that Sunday night’s game will have no meaning in the standings by the time the Lakers take the court if the Mavericks and Trail Blazers each win a game. If that is the case then Vogel and his staff will decide if it’s appropriate to sit players for rest or play everyone to build at least some continuity during a turbulent season.

“We’re really gonna make those decisions the day of game. Obviously we’d like to get as much time with these guys on the floor together that we can. But obviously if the last game is meaningless then we’ll make the call at that point, whether it’s more important to get some time together or to rest up for whatever is next. We’ll just make those decisions day of game.”

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NBA Playoff Picture 2021: Latest Standings, Play-in Predictions for Lakers, More

Bleacher Report 15 May, 2021 - 06:00am

The path to the 2021 NBA title is getting clearer by the second.

Thursday's nine-game slate helped tie up some loose ends with the play-in tournament.

The San Antonio Spurs secured their spot. More accurately, they backed into one by way of the Sacramento Kings loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, a defeat that also extended Sacramento's playoff drought to a record-tying 15 years. The Chicago Bulls, meanwhile, remained mathematically alive in the East with a 114-102 win over the Toronto Raptors.

The Portland Trail Blazers closed the night by nearly snagging a top-six seed (and their sixth consecutive win) but ultimately falling to the Phoenix Suns on a pair of Devin Booker free throws with less than three seconds remaining.

With that, six of the eight play-in participants are set in stone. After updating the league standings, we'll make play-in predictions for both conferences.

Considering it would take the Wizards losing out and the Bulls winning out to change this field, no one should expect a change in the standings.

Once the curtains drop on this campaign, it will be the Celtics, Hornets, Pacers and Wizards left fighting for the East's final two postseason spots.

Boston is backing into this event in a bad way, having dropped four straight and lost All-Star swingman Jaylen Brown for good. That could make the Shamrocks vulnerable, if not for the fact all four teams are stumbling into this tournament. None has a winning record in its last 10 games or a victory its last time out. Together, the four teams are on a combined 10-game losing streak.

The Celtics will be favored no matter who they're facing. They will think they have the best player in the series with Jayson Tatum, and they'll probably be right (though that conversation gets interesting if the Wizards ascend to No. 8). Our crystal ball sees the Pacers winding up at No. 8, and then not having enough to hang with the Celtics, despite the best efforts of Domantas Sabonis and Caris LeVert.

That leaves the Hornets and Wizards to lock horns in the 9-10 matchup, and this might be where an unexpectedly fun season in Buzz City comes to a close.

The Hornets, who are 3-6 in their last nine games, may not have Gordon Hayward (foot) and can only expect so much from freshman phenom LaMelo Ball. The Wizards get as much guard production as anyone between Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. Advantage Washington.

That would have the Pacers hosting the Wizards in a do-or-die game for No. 8. Washington's guards would again be the difference-makers, as they were in the team's 133-132 road win over Indiana less than a week ago, when Beal had 50 points on 31 shots and Westbrook delivered a 33-point, 19-rebound, 15-assist triple-double.

Remember when the entire NBA used to be decided by Stephen Curry's annual championship-round tussles with LeBron James? To have these two potentially dueling in a win-and-you're-in contest surely shatters whatever best-case scenario the play-in tournament architects initially envisioned.

Those are mega-stars on a global scale. Each qualifies as the proverbial unstoppable force. Both has an expert co-star alongside him with Anthony Davis in L.A. and Draymond Green in Golden State. This would be epic.

The Warriors would go in having played perhaps their best basketball all season. Their four-game winning streak matches their season-high and features triumphs over the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns. That they engineered both wins without Curry being anywhere near his best (38.3/16.7/94.4 slash line in the contests) suggests this supporting cast might be finding its way.

Saying all of that, our crystal ball can't go away from the champs. As long as James isn't too limited by his nagging ankle injury, he and Davis can do more damage than Curry and Green. It'll be close (and an instant classic), but L.A., which could still secure a direct path to the postseason, advances.

Once Memphis makes quick work of a free-falling San Antonio squad (2-7 in its last nine games), it's off to California for a winner-take-all collision with the Warriors. And it's almost impossible to imagine the Grizzlies pulling this off.

Their core hasn't made a playoff trip together; Curry, Green, Kevon Looney and coach Steve Kerr have celebrated three world titles together. Tack on Golden State's home-court advantage and superior star power with Curry, and this might get out of hand in a runaway Warriors' victory.

Player Profile | Kevon Looney

Golden State Warriors 15 May, 2021 - 06:00am

Draymond Green cites Russell Westbrook in Steph Curry MVP case

Yahoo Sports 14 May, 2021 - 01:54pm

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

The three-time NBA champion is averaging 31.8 points, 5.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.

But the main thing going against him is the Warriors are going to finish in either eighth or ninth place in the Western Conference.

"If I’m not mistaken, Russell Westbrook won MVP [in 2016-17] and they were the seventh or eighth seed," Draymond said to Sam Amick of The Athletic. "There’s no rule that says you can’t be an eighth seed and win the MVP because Russ has done it."

Sorry for being the "Well Actually" guy, but the Oklahoma City Thunder finished in sixth that year with a record of 47-35 -- four games ahead of the No. 7 seed Memphis Grizzlies.

Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game during Kevin Durant's first season with the Warriors. He was a very inefficient 42.5 percent from the field, however.

"I had no problem with him winning the MVP because I actually thought he f--king deserved it," Draymond added. "That OKC team he was on was horses--t. Complete horses--t. And he carried that team to the playoffs while going out and averaging a triple double, completely destroying every team that he played against.

"I thought he deserved to be the MVP. Why? Because he was so valuable to that team that he got that team to the playoffs while averaging a triple double. You’re damn right he deserved to be the MVP."

Yours truly firmly believes that Steph would be the MVP favorite [Nikola Jokic is the frontrunner) if Golden State was holding the No. 6 seed right now.

But it is what it is.

The most important thing at this moment is for Steph to lift the Warriors past the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday so they enter the play-in tournament with the No. 8 seed instead of No. 9.

Charles Barkley says Portland blew it, a loss to Denver on Sunday will be 'devastating.'

With just four days left in the regular season, the intrigue surrounding the play-in format has drawn more attention than the race for the No. 1 seed.

Examining remaining schedule of Mavs, Lakers and possible playoff matchups

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Jordan Poole scored a go-ahead layup with 21.4 seconds left and made two free throws with less than a second remaining on the way to a career-high 38 points despite an ankle injury scare in the third quarter, and the Golden State Warriors held off the New Orleans Pelicans 125-122 on Friday night while Stephen Curry and other stars rested with injuries. Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 30 points and put New Orleans ahead with 25.9 seconds left, answering Eric Paschall's basket for the Warriors 33 seconds after his offensive rebound. “He came back on fire,” Golden State's Mychal Mulder said of Poole playing on a tender ankle.

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Channing Frye Compares Stephen Curry To Iron Man: "Steph Is Like Iron Man. He Built Himself."

Fadeaway World 14 May, 2021 - 01:26pm

Channing Frye became an NBA champion in 2016 when the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to beat Stephen Curry. He knows firsthand how devastating Stephen Curry could be to a defense. On an episode of The Dan Patrick Show, Frye was asked to describe Stephen Curry to someone who's never seen him play. Frye talked about Curry's influence on the game, and compared Curry to Iron Man, as he claimed that Stephen Curry built himself into what he is.

Steph’s greatest superpower is his skill. Steph is like ironman, like he built himself, like he worked on that, and he has this innate ability, like shooting is something that everyone can do yet he does it so well,

There is no way that you become the greatest shooter of all time without putting in the work: self-built. Iron Man is a self-built superhero, as he created the suit that makes him one. The comparison is fairly apt from Frye. There are many good shooters and good scorers in the NBA: but Stephen Curry does is simply on another level to the rest of the playing field.

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