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The 2021 NBA Playoff Predictions – Play-In Tournament

Western Conference

7 Los Angeles Lakers v 8 Golden State Warriors

David Ashman: Wow what a tough one and this will be a game to watch. I just have a funny feeling that Steph will explode seeing it’s a do or die game and will carry the Warriors on his back. Lakers will lose this one and learn from it. Warriors (by 7)

Dan Kelly: Not confident but assuming Lakers can do enough damage in the paint and keep Steph to under 40. Lakers

Troy Goostrey: Not enough run in the legs for the injured Lakers and Steph and his sidekicks will get them here. Warriors

Jarrod Cotton: Lakers should be the favourites but I’m picking the Warriors on the back of LeBron‘s criticism of the play in. Steph will keep rolling with 40+ points. Warriors

Jesse Cotton: The most anticipated Lakers-Warriors clash since Magic came out of retirement to head fake Sprewell. Draymond could punch LeBron in the balls, and Steph could go off for 40+, but the Lakers with all their players back will just make sure no-one else like Wiggins beats them. That shouldn’t be too hard. Lakers

“I’m the best scorer the Lakers recruited from the Warriors” – Terry Teagle
“I don’t think so, it’s me” – Jamaal Wilkes
“Not so fast” – Wilt Chamberlain

9 Memphis Grizzlies v 10 San Antonio Spurs

David Ashman: I can’t believe the Spurs are in contention year after year and here we are, AGAIN. The Grizzlies have their team back with JJJ so they’re at full strength. I think they’ll get one over the feisty Spurs this time. Grizzlies (by 13)

Dan Kelly: Anyone’s pick this one, thinking Pop might give them the edge, neither team is advancing. Spurs

Troy Goostrey: Popp has worked miracles before but not sure he will here.  Memphis on the way to the next play in game. Grizzlies

Jarrod Cotton: Grizzlies advance easily over the Spurs in the first blowout. Ja rules! Grizzlies

Jesse Cotton: The time of never picking against Popovich and the Spurs is over. The Grizzlies shouldn’t be this good on paper, but they are consistently competitive, and they’ll get past the Spurs pretty easily. Grizzlies

“Before, and after” – Mmmm Kyle Anderson

Playoff for the 8 Seed – West

David Ashman: (Lakers v Grizzlies) The Grizzlies are young and hungry but I believe the Lakers will have more experience and be fired up after their loss to the Warriors. They will beat the Grizzlies but not after a good fight by the Griz young guns. Then LeBron will head off to his red carpet for Space Jam 2 premiere. Lakers (by 6)

Dan Kelly: (Warriors v Spurs) Steph to bust their ass and give em 60 and they get in. Warriors

Troy Goostrey: (Lakers v Grizzlies) Nice taste of some playoffs for the Grizz but need the real Ja Morant to please stand up next season and take the next step.  Father time to advance as an 8 seed… Lakers

Jarrod Cotton: (Lakers v Grizzlies) Lakers will be desperate and seriously locked in for this one. Sorry Grizzlies not this season. Lakers

Jesse Cotton: (Warriors v Grizzlies) The Grizzlies at this point will be the most experienced play-in team, having played in it last year. But, like last year, they started 9th and will finish 9th. Warriors

“Grizzlies” – Bryant “Big Country” Reeves
“Spurs” – Tim “Big Fundamental” Duncan
“Lakers” – Shaquille “Big Aristotle” O’Neal
“Warriors, no Lakers” – Javale “Big Daddy Wookie” McGee
“I agree, McGee” – Wilt “Big Dipper” Chamberlain

Eastern Conference

7 Boston Celtics v 8 Washington Wizards

David Ashman: If the Celtics get Kemba and Smart back then it will be too much for the Westbrook led Wiz’s. Even with a quadruple double, Westbrook won’t be able to win this one. Celtics (by 14)

Dan Kelly: More hoping for this than anything, want to see Russ v Nets. Wizards

Troy Goostrey: Washington are better than the record shows and will beat Boston.  Hec, with all the injuries current age Bird, Parish, McHale, DJ and Ainge would beat the Celtics. Wizards

Jarrod Cotton: Jaylen Brown’s injury caps off a season to forget for the Celtics. Wizards win behind a mega triple double from Westbrook. Wizards

Jesse Cotton: The Celtics minus Jaylen Brown are sputtering to the finish line. The Wizards are charging up the standings like a bullet. This makes me lean towards the Wizards, but it’s mainly because I want to see Westbrook v Durant/Harden in the first round. Wizards

“I’m nervous about my hip injury” – Isaiah Thomas
“I’m nervous about my ESPN contract” – Paul Pierce
“I’m never nervous” – Pervis Ellison

9 Indiana Pacers v 10 Charlotte Hornets

David Ashman: The Hornets have been an X-factor for most of the season and they can be good when they want to be. I think with LeMelo back, he brings them in contention for an upset against the Pacers. It will be a close one but Hornets (by 8)

Dan Kelly: Good season for Hornets but it comes to an end at Indiana. Pacers

Troy Goostrey: Hornets looked the better team all season aside from the late slump.  Pacers were all over the place, and will drop this one. Hornets

Jarrod Cotton: Pacers are a shell of themselves personnel wise, bad timing, bad luck. Hornets win in a close one. Hornets

Jesse Cotton: Hmm. Go with the team who are on a 5 game losing streak, or the team imploding under a coach no-one wants to play for. I somehow get the feeling the Pacers would rather their season be over more than the Hornets would. Hornets

“Are the Bobcats the Hornets?” – Stephen Jackson
“Either they are, or the New Orleans Hornets are” – David West and Peja Stojakovic

Playoff for the 8 Seed – East

David Ashman: (Wizards v Hornets) The Hornets again will have that depth that the Wizards just don’t have. Besides MJ has a grudge against those Wizards and will suit up and play at the end of the game like Bill Murray in Space Jam Hornets (by 12)

Dan Kelly: (Celtics v Pacers) Surely Celtics cant bottle the season that badly and miss playoffs? They will get knocked out in first round. Celtics

Troy Goostrey: (Celtics v Hornets) Hornets, just so we have a 10 seed get through if nothing else!  Once again, Charlotte were good most of the way while Boston just inquired about getting Hayward back to help sure up their IL. Hornets

Jarrod Cotton: (Celtics v Hornets) Experience gets the Celtics through in an ugly game care of M. Smart. Celtics

Jesse Cotton: (Celtics v Hornets) Revenge game for Rozier and Hayward (in street clothes)? Or revenge game for Kemba? Probably neither. The Celtics have the experience to get this one. The Hornets need Mourning to hit a foul-line jumper and then lay on the ground to overcome the Celtics. Celtics

“I’ll go Celtics and Pacers” – Larry Bird
“I’ll go Wizards and Hornets” – Michael Jordan
“I’ll go off the floor, off the scoreboard, off the bank board, no rim” – Larry Bird
“I’ll go through the window, off the wall, nothing but net” – Michael Jordan

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