NBA Play-In Tournament Preview: 9 and 10 seeds
The still-new NBA Play-In Tournament continues on as both No. 9 and No. 10 seeds face off with the chance to keep their playoff hopes alive.
With both No. 8 seeds falling on Tuesday, they will now face the winner of both games on Wednesday.
Starting out in the Eastern Conference, the No. 9 seed Atlanta Hawks will face the No. 10 seed Charlotte Hornets.
The Hawks struggled out of the gate this season after making the Eastern Conference Finals the year prior. Trae Young was not a part of those struggles though, as he was able to put up arguably his best season as a pro so far.
Young averaged 28.4 points and 9.7 assists per game this season as he paced the Hawks offense which had nine players average double-digit points.
They’ll face a Hornets team which finished with the same 43-39 record as the Hawks.
The Hornets come in with two 20-point scorers as Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball lead a young and exciting core into the postseason. Like last season, the Hornets will look to make the playoffs as the No. 10 seed.
During the first year of the Play-In Tournament, the Hornets lost to the No. 9 Pacers in a 144-117 rout.
In the Western Conference, there is another intriguing matchup as the No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans face the No. 10 San Antonio Spurs.
While the Pelicans come in with a 36-46 record, they did manage to get hot in the second half of the season following a mid-season trade with the Portland Trail Blazers to acquire star guard C.J McCollum.
McCollum alongside Brandon Ingram has been a great duo for the Pelicans this season and it has helped them survive in a season where their young star in Zion Williamson hasn’t played a single minute.
They take on a Spurs team that has gone under the radar late in the season to pass the Los Angeles Lakers and take the final play-in spot.
The Spurs finished with a 34-48 record, one game better than the boys in Hollywood.
Dejounte Murray led an interesting group of scorers as he finished with 21.1 points per game this season.
While last year’s bottom two seeds in the play-in tournament didn’t go too far in the overall playoffs, perhaps this year can be different as the winners look to create chaos in the landscape of the NBA.
Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism