With the 2020-21 NBA regular season coming to an end this weekend, a number of teams are in the hunt to secure their place for the postseason. As things stand, the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards are set to square off for the play-in tournament in the Eastern Conference. Here’s a look at our NBA play-in tournament Eastern Conference prediction, the Eastern Conference standings as of Tuesday and the NBA play-in tournament date –
NBA play-in tournament preview: How does NBA play-in tournament work?
There will be a total of six games, involving eight teams as part of the play-in tournament, split up between the two conferences. The teams that finish between 1-6 in each conference will be guaranteed playoff spots, while teams that finish 7-10 in the standings will enter the play-in. Any team that finishes worse than No. 10 will be in the lottery. After the play-in tournament is over, it’s the normal 16-team format with seeds 1-8 facing each other in each conference.
Since there is a chance for teams to finish with an uneven number of games played because of COVID-19 complications, the NBA will use winning percentage to determine the standings. The NBA previously implemented the play-in tournament to give more teams a fair shot at reaching the postseason in the Orlando Bubble in 2020. Due to its success, the play-in tournament is set to continue into the 2020-21 season, but the NBA play-in tournament bracket format is a bit different.
NBA play-in tournament date and schedule
The NBA play-in tournament will begin on May 18 and conclude on May 21 — the 2021 NBA playoffs will then start the day after on Saturday, May 22.
Eastern Conference (As things stand)
East 7 (Celtics) vs. East 8 (Hornets) | Winner gets No. 7 overall seed
East 9 (Pacers) vs. East 10 (Wizards) | Loser is eliminated
Loser 7/8 vs. Winner 9/10 | Winner gets No. 8 overall seed
NBA play-in tournament Eastern Conference prediction and standings
The Boston Celtics are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings and are tipped as the favourites to make it to the postseason from the play-in tournament. As things stand, they are expected to square off against the Charlotte Hornets and our prediction is a win for the Celtics. The Celtics have won 35 games so far while the Hornets have come out victorious in 33 of their games this campaign.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook has seemed to have found form at the right time and has been sensational for the Washington Wizards over the last few weeks. The 32-year-old will now be hoping to guide his team to the postseason through the play-in tournament. Our prediction is that the Wizards will join the Celtics in the postseason through the play-in tournament.
So far, the Sixers, Nets and Bucks have all qualified for the postseason from the Eastern Conference.
Image Credits – Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics Instagram
Credit: Source link