NBA playoff watch: Wizards clinch play-in spot; Bulls eliminated


With the addition of play-in video games to the 2021 NBA playoffs, the scramble for seeding is wilder — and extra essential — than ever, with nearly each recreation down the stretch having vital postseason implications.

Play-in matchups after Thursday’s video games

Play-in video games to be held Tuesday by Friday of subsequent week

How the play-in event will work

Current NBA standings

EAST

Game 1: No. 8 Charlotte at No. 7 Boston — winner is No. 7 seed in playoffs; loser strikes on in play-in

Game 2: No. 10 Washington at No. 9 Indiana — winner strikes on in play-in; loser is eradicated

Game 3: Washington/Indiana winner at Boston/Charlotte loser — winner is No. 8 seed in playoffs

WEST

Game 1: No. 8 Golden State at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers — winner is No. 7 seed in playoffs; loser strikes on in play-in

Game 2: No. 10 San Antonio at No. 9 Memphis — winner strikes on in play-in; loser is eradicated

Game 3: Memphis/San Antonio winner at Lakers/Golden State loser — winner is No. 8 seed in playoffs


Teams that clinched Friday

Already in

EAST

Playoff spots: Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks

Play-in spots (seeds 7-10): Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Indiana Pacers

WEST

Playoff spots: Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets

Play-in spots: Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs


Here’s a breakdown of the important thing video games from Friday and what the outcomes imply for the seedings:

With a win in opposition to the Cavaliers, the Washington Wizards have settled the ultimate play-in spot for the East, securing at the least a top-10 seed and due to this fact, eliminating the Chicago Bulls.

It’s been a placing turnaround for the Wizards, who on April 5 sat 17-32 and outdoors the East’s playoff image. Since then, they’ve gone 16-6, which featured a seven-game successful streak, boosting them into the highest 10.

With a recreation to go, there’s nonetheless extra to play for because the Wizards are a recreation behind the Hornets and Pacers for the eighth and ninth spots. The distinction between 8 and 9 is big, clearly, going from a potential one-and-done recreation to needing to lose two video games to be eradicated.

And guess what? The Wizards shut the common season in opposition to the Hornets on Sunday, whereas the Pacers end with the Lakers (in what’s a close to must-win for LA). The Wizards maintain the tiebreaker on the Pacers, which might bump them forward if Washington closes with a win and the Lakers beat Indiana. The Hornets play the Knicks on Saturday, and with a win, lock up the next spot than the Wizards by advantage of a 2-1 season sequence tiebreaker. But ought to the Hornets lose, it units up a large seeding recreation between Washington and Charlotte. — Royce Young



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