In the first season with a play-in tournament, it seems as though the games could not have turned out better. A total of 6 games will be played, and there is no doubt that they will be intriguing. Some of the NBA’s best will be participating, and will have the chance to make the first play in tournament one to remember. y

Charlotte Hornets vs Indiana Pacers (Tuesday, 6:30 EST)

Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers odds, picks and prediction

My pick: Indiana Pacers

Both teams are injury-riddled, making this game extremely hard to predict. However, against my will, I think that at the time of writing this article, the Pacers are the safest bet. If they play, Brogdon and Sabonis will need to show up, but if enough players can contribute, the Pacers should dominate. Hayward will be out for this game and with Ball likely being guarded by the defensive-minded Malcolm Brogdon, the Hornets may struggle to score.

The Flip Side

This season has been up and down for Terry Rozier, and if Tuesday is an up night for him, I may have to eat my words.

Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics (Tuesday, 9 EST)

Play-In Preview: Celtics vs. Wizards | Boston Celtics

My Pick: Washington Wizards

Russell Westbrook has been on a tear in the past few games, and it does not seem as though Kemba Walker can stop him. The Celtics are missing Jaylen Brown, which is basically a green light for the red hot Wizards to come out strong. Tatum can only do so much, as he will be the primary focus of the Wizards defense. The Wizards will have just enough to contain him, giving them a victory.

The Flip Side

Kemba Walker may just be the big X-Factor for the Celtics. If he can hold his ground defensively and contribute offensively, the Celtics could come out on top.

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers (Wednesday, 10 EST)

Could a Warriors-Lakers rivalry finally begin this season?

My Pick: Los Angeles Lakers

With Lebron planning to play, there are very few ways the Warriors can win this game. Curry will have a huge game as usual, but as long as it is not too big the Lakers can secure a win. Lebron and Ad are simply too overpowering for the Warriors’ defense, or any for that matter.

The Flip Side

The Warriors have Draymond Green, and if he can have a huge defensive impact, then the Warriors might be able to pull a win out of their hats in a close game.

San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies (Wednesday, 7:30 EST)

Grizzlies vs. Spurs game date, time: What we know about NBA play-in  tournament matchup - DraftKings Nation

My Pick: Memphis Grizzlies

Ja Morant is known for being able to rip through defenses, and that should be no different against the Spurs. Ja can use his quickness to light up this defense and turn them into a human highlight real. Jonas Valanciunas will dominate the interior, and give the Grizzlies one last chance to make the playoffs.

The Flip Side

It is not an easy task, but Dejounte Murray has a good chance of being able to limit Ja Morant. Combine this with an efficient performance from Demar Derozen, and the Spurs may live to see another day.

Boston Celtics vs Indiana Pacers (Thursday, 8 EST)

Celtics 'knocked all over the place' but rally to beat Pacers

My Pick: Boston Celtics

Jason Tatum should be able to have a free 40 bomb against the Pacers, who struggle to guard multi-dimensional scorers. Kemba Walker may not have the best game, but nonetheless, the Celtics will secure their playoff spot.

The Flip Side

Sabonis will need a huge performance for the Pacers to win, but it is definitely a doable task. Sabonis has shown up in big moments and may be able to do so again.

Golden State Warriors vs Memphis Grizzlies (Friday, TBD)

Warriors-Grizzlies preview: What's at stake, X-factors and prediction

My Pick: Golden State Warriors

In an offensive battle between Ja Morant and Steph Curry, I think the smart pick is the 2021 scoring champion. The Warriors are great, and they will not let their fans down in this pivotal matchup.

The Flip Side

If Curry has a bad shooting night, the Grizzlies can capitalize on that and send them home. It’s unlikely, but playoff basketball never misses the chance to surprise.


East 7th seed: Washington Wizards
East 8th seed: Boston Celtics
West 7th seed: Los Angeles Lakers
West 8th seed: Golden State Warriors

By Myst