It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The NBA playoffs are just around the corner. But before that, we all know that there will be a Play-In Tournament first to determine which teams will make the final 7th and 8th seed for the two conferences. This format was criticized by superstars such as LeBron James and Luka Doncic.
NBA playoff predictions 2021
There’s only one week left before the Play-In Tournament kicks off. Here are some hot takes on which teams will or will not make it to the playoffs based on the remaining games and the team’s current status.
Here are our top five bold predictions for the 2021 NBA playoffs.
The Lakers will be in the Play-In Tournament
The Lakers are pretty much in a bad shape right now (7th in West). They badly need LeBron James. However, they are erring on the side of caution as his ankle is not 100% yet. Without him, they have been stagnant on offense.
Anthony Davis is back in the lineup from his calf injury and is now picking up the slack. He’s on fire lately averaging 39 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists over his last 2 games.
Meanwhile, Andre Drummond hasn’t been himself. Over the last six games, his performance has been lackluster, and is picking up fouls constantly. His nagging toe injury could be the culprit here but we know that he hasn’t been a good rim protector that the Lakers need.
The Wizards will make the playoffs
The Wizards (10th in East) are on a roll after the All-Star Break all thanks to Russell Westbrook‘s unreal performance. Over the month of May, Westbrook has been averaging a monstrous 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists per game. Bradley Beal is also on fire, averaging 31.4 points per game in the season.
Even if they participate in the Play-In Tournament, teams wouldn’t look forward to meeting them. The hot duo can turn on the switch at any time.
Mr. Triple Double !!! Congratulations big bro. It’s a pleasure to witness history!! First Ballot HOF @russwest44
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) May 11, 2021
The Wizards’ final games are against the Hawks, Cavaliers, and Hornets.
Charlotte misses out
It’s tough to see the Hornets (8th in East) make the playoffs or even survive the Play-In Tournament. Without Gordon Hayward, they don’t have a star who can make big shots on the floor. Sure, LaMelo Ball is there, but he is still a rookie and is bound to make a lot of mistakes especially in do-or-die games.
Plus, the Hornets have a tough final week against the Nuggets, Clippers, Knicks, and Wizards respectively.
Boston faces Play-In
Uh oh. The Celtics have been always a top-seeded team for the past few years. However, they are not doing great lately (7th in the East). If this continues, they might have to play in the Play-In Tournament which poses a risk in their playoff chances.
Jaylen Brown this season:
24.7 PPG (Career high)
3.4 APG (Career high)
1.2 SPG (Career high)
48.4% FG (Career high)
39.7% 3PT (Career high)
76.4% FT (Career high)
Shoutout to JB on a great season 🙏 He’s going to come back even better pic.twitter.com/qsO2d6LMZH
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 10, 2021
Things are not looking good also as Jaylen Brown went down due to a sprained right ankle (and he will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his left wrist). Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker should step up in the final games to lock that sixth seed and hope that Miami Heat will move down as well.
The Celtics’ last four games are against the Heat, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Knicks.
The Warriors won’t make the playoffs
We have been screaming all over the place how good Stephen Curry is. He has been carrying the Warriors (8th in West) all year long.
The question is, until when?
The Warriors lack another star who can make shots of their own. Draymond Green is a team player and isn’t enough to help Curry that much offensively.
The Warriors’ final three games are tough matchups against the Suns, Pelicans, and Grizzlies.