NBA Star Power Index: Can LeBron James lead Lakers out of play-in tournament on back-to-back quest?

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CBS Sports 13 May, 2021 - 11:53am 16 views

When is the NBA play in tournament?

The play-in tournament begins on May 18 and concludes on May 21. SB NationNBA play-in tournament 2021: Rules, bracket, and schedule, explained

How does the play in tournament work?

The play-in tournament is what will decide the final two playoff positions in each conference in 2021. The top six seeds automatic advance with the next four in both leagues battling it out for the seventh and eighth seeds. ... The Mavs are guaranteed at least two postseason games. The Smoking CubanDallas Mavericks: What is NBA Play-in and how does it work?

How many games is the play in tournament?

There will be six total games involving eight teams as part of the play-in tournament, split up between the two conferences. The teams that finish Nos. 1-6 in each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots, while team Nos. 7-10 in the standings will enter the play-in. ESPNHow does the NBA play-in tournament work? Dates, projections and rules explained

Are the Knicks in the playoffs?

The New York Knicks clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs when the Boston Celtics lost Wednesday night to fall 3½ games behind New York with two games left. The playoff berth is the Knicks' first since 2013, completing a quick turnaround under first-year coach Tom Thibodeau and a new front office. USA TODAYNew York Knicks clinch first playoff spot since 2012-13 season with Boston Celtics' loss

76ers Players Who Need to Boost Free-Agency Value in 2021 Playoffs

Bleacher Report 13 May, 2021 - 03:01pm

When NBA teams win big in the playoffs, everyone shares the success.

And when they fall on their face, those struggles are shared too.

That's why there will be more than a championship at stake when the Philadelphia 76ers start their playoff trek. There could be a mountain of money on the line depending on how the postseason treats the following three impending free agents.

The playoffs have typically been kind to Danny Green.

The veteran sharpshooter added a third championship ring to his collection last season and made some history in the process. He and then-Los Angeles Lakers teammate LeBron James became the third and fourth players in NBA history to win titles with three teams. Green previously won rings with the Toronto Raptors (2019) and San Antonio Spurs (2014).

He is back in the championship race again, and if the Sixers add more jewelry to his collection, he could cash in again on that success this summer. Philly has needed his three-ball and entrusted him with his most minutes per game since 2014-15. He has responded by matching his most threes (2.5 per game) and posting his second-best three-point percentage (40.2) over the same stretch.

His outside shot, defensive versatility and playoff experience are all potential bank-account boosters, but he could still use the lift provided by a net-shredding run through the postseason.

Dwight Howard was there with Green and James winning a title in L.A. last season. While the big man didn't play as prominent of a role, his defense and interior activity were quietly key ingredients in the Lakers' championship recipe.

But that didn't help the veteran center in free agency, as Howard picked up a minimum deal with Philly.

Maybe that's the best he can do at this point. He is 35 and nearing 40,000 regular-season minutes for his career. He has never had the perimeter skills demanded in the modern game, and his free-throw shooting never came around (56.6 percent for his career, 57.7 this season).

Still, if he supports a championship run for the second straight season, don't win-now teams with voids at the center spot have to take notice? He looks revitalized by his all-energy reserve role, and the eight-time All-Star continues to contribute a relatively great deal to winning (.161 win shares per 48 minutes now, .172 for his career).

Mike Scott is a shooting specialist.

In his younger days, his game had a few other layers to it, but frontcourt floor-spacing has long been his bread and butter. Of all his career field-goal attempts, 43 percent have come from beyond the three-point arc. Since the start of 2019-20—his first full year in Philadelphia—that number is up to 66.4.

He is interesting when that long ball finds his mark. Stretching the floor as a small-ball big makes everyone's life easier on offense.

Now, Scott just needs to remind interested teams about that three-point threat. Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, he shot better than 39 percent from three in three of four seasons. He hasn't cleared 37 percent since and is down to 34.0 (and a worrying 36.1 from the field) this year.

If he can reignite that flame, it can burn bright enough to change the direction of a game. Time a few breakout shooting performances just right, and he could have several suitors in free agency.

                       

NBA unveils start times for season's final 2 days

NBA.com 13 May, 2021 - 10:21am

The Lakers and Celtics both play twice over the season’s final two days.

Keep your calendar open this weekend, because there will be no shortage of NBA games to watch.

The NBA announced the start times for the last two days of the season — May 15 and 16 — and there will be 21 games to catch over those 48 hours. Many of those games will have direct implications on the State Farm Play-In Tournament as well as the overall 2021 NBA playoffs.

The action starts on Saturday with all six games on NBA League Pass. Three games are up at 1 p.m. ET: the Chicago Bulls visit the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks host the Charlotte Hornets. Each of those squads are either in the Play-In chase or jockeying for a higher playoff seed.

— NBA (@NBA) May 12, 2021

After that, the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Boston Celtics (2 p.m. ET) and the Phoenix Suns visit the San Antonio Spurs (2 p.m. ET) followed by a Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks showdown that evening (8 p.m. ET). Those six teams are either already in the playoffs or in the Play-In mix.

Come Sunday, all 15 teams will be in action. Three games tip off at 1 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (on ESPN), Indiana Pacers vs. Toronto Raptors (on NBA League Pass) and Charlotte Hornets vs. Washington Wizards (on NBA League Pass).

From there, games tip off at 2 p.m. ET (Suns vs. Spurs), 3:30 p.m. ET (Grizzlies vs. Warriors on ESPN) before three games at 7 p.m. ET, one at 8 p.m. ET and six at 9 p.m. ET.

The complete schedule for each day is below.

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