NBA Play-In Tournament Schedule

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Steph Curry, LeBron James, NBA All-Star 2021
Stephen Curry and LeBron James were teammates in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game

The NBA’s regular season has concluded, but eight teams have yet to be eliminated from contention or make the 2021 playoffs. Their fates will be decided this week in the league’s new play-in tournament.

The top six seeds in each conference are set in stone. The Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and Charlotte Hornets are competing for the East’s No. 7 and No. 8 seeds. In the West, the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs will decide the final two postseason berths.

It all starts Tuesday night when Charlotte visits Indiana at 6:30 p.m. EDT. Boston hosts Washington at 9 p.m. EDT. The winner of the second contest advances to the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. 

The Celtics-Wizards loser will host the Hornets-Pacers winner Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT with the No. 8 seed on the line. 

 

 

 

The West’s play-in tournament games are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday night. Wednesday’s action starts with San Antonio visiting Memphis at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The highly anticipated matchup between the Lakers and Warriors starts at 10 p.m. EDT at Staples Center. 

The Lakers-Warriors winner will make the playoffs as the No. 7 seed and face the Phoenix Suns in the first round. The loser will host the Grizzlies-Spurs winner Friday night for a shot at the No. 8 seed.

All of the East games can be seen on TNT. ESPN will broadcast the West games. 

The four teams that make the playoffs will have an uphill battle in trying to make a deep playoff run. There has never been a No. 7 or a No. 8 seed that has won the NBA championship. 

The No. 8 seed New York Knicks made it to the 1999 NBA Finals, where they were defeated by Tim Duncan’s Spurs in five games.

The Lakers are not a typical lower-seeded team. The defending champs were near the top of the standings for the first few months of the season. Los Angeles’ playoff chances took a hit when LeBron James and Anthony Davis missed 65 combined games with injuries.

Golden State beat Memphis in the regular-season finale to secure a matchup with Los Angeles. Stephen Curry finished the season as the NBA scoring champion.

The two East teams that survive the play-in tournament will be rewarded with first-round playoff matchups against the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.


Steph Curry, LeBron James, NBA All-Star 2021

Photo: @NBA on Twitter

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