The NBA Playoffs are set to begin, but first, we are going to see the play-in tournament in action for the first time in NBA history! This year, the NBA has implemented a play-in tournament where the 7 through 10-seeds in both conferences will battle it out to earn the final two playoff spots (the 7-seed and 8-seed) in each conference.
The first two play-in games will take place tomorrow in the Eastern Conference, with the first game being played between the 9-seed Indiana Pacers and the 10-seed Charlotte Hornets. The loser of this game tomorrow night will be eliminated from postseason contention, so there is going to be a lot on the line for both of these teams.
The Indiana Pacers have had a very bumpy season and have underachieved once again, but after losing in the first-round of the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, they are looking to finally change their fortunes.
Charlotte has not been to the playoffs since 2016, but they find themselves on the verge of breaking this drought with their core of youthful and hungry talents. Gordon Hayward is not expected to play, but with other key talents in Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball, Devonte’ Graham and Miles Bridges, the Hornets have a very strong chance to pull off the “upset” in this game and send the Pacers to Cancun.
The reason we say “upset” in quotes is because while the Hornets are the lower seed in this play-in game, none of these wins/losses should really be considered an “upset” since both teams are fighting for one of the last playoff spots and have virtually identical records.
This Hornets-Pacers game is going to be a fun one with a lot on the line, so now, let’s dive into my four bold predictions for this game, including who I see coming out with a victory in this game, keeping their playoff hopes alive.