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The 2022 NBA Playoff Predictions – Play-In Tournament

Eastern Conference

7 Brooklyn Nets v 8 Cleveland Cavaliers

David Ashman: The Cavs are the surprise team in the East, would not have thought they would be in this position. Cavs have some great young talent with Mobley being possibly the best rookie this year. Nets have the talent and the sooks. With sooks come dramas, maybe they might not gel come play-off crunch time. Unfortunately, the Nets will win with their stars firing. Nets win
Jarrod Cotton: Cleveland have nothing to lose where as Brooklyn has everything to lose in this one. The class and experience of KD wins the day against this exciting young team to keep an eye on. Nets win
Troy Goostrey: How unlucky are Boston.  Might get a first round match up with a Nets team getting the core back together.  I think Brooklyn wins this, depleted Cavs will hang tough but ultimately lose. Nets win
Andrew O’Callaghan: Nets win
Dan Kelly: Nets win
Jesse Cotton: The easiest game of the bunch to pick. Garland has to cancel out Kyrie for the Cavs to even have a chance, but then who cancels out KD? K Love? Kevin v Kevin? Kramer v Kramer? Nets win
"My revenge game they'll call this" - Caris LeVert
"You? You're not even an all-star" - Jarrett Allen
"And you're so skinny, I'll flatten you" - Andre Drummond
"Like the earth" - Kyrie Irving

9 Atlanta Hawks v 10 Charlotte Hornets

David Ashman: Hawks have not been as dominant as expected this year in the East. With that said, come playoff time anything can happen with Mr Young and his co-star Joan Collins. The Hawks might turn it up and run in attack mode like last playoffs. I think they will need to bring it against a similar team like the Hornets. The Hornets are that sneaky team that could upset some teams in the East these playoffs. Expect this to be a barn burner, Trae vs LaMelo. Hawks win
Jarrod Cotton: Charlotte and Atlanta both are going to run and gun with plenty of fun. I think the Hornets prevail on the back of a LaMelo triple double. Hornets win
Troy Goostrey: Sorry Jesse, I want to see Ball, Bridges and Co do well.  But I’ll pick the experience of the Hawks here. Trae puts them on his back to advance. Hawks win
Andrew O’Callaghan: Hornets win
Dan Kelly: Atlanta over Charlotte – Trae to give ‘em 50+. Hawks win
Jesse Cotton: This one is wishful thinking. Neither team will want to play much defense so it really comes down to who outscores who. The experience of last year and just having older guys like the smiling assassin Gallo and Capela who’ve been there done that will get the Hawks over the line. Now watch someone like Terry Rozier go for 40. Hawks win
"I like big butts and I cannot lie" - Marvin Williams

What a crowd!

Playoff for the 8 Seed – East

David Ashman (Cavs v Hawks): Cavs to take it to Hawks and use their height and flexibility to win and surprise the East playoff race. Cavs win
Jarrod Cotton (Cavs v Hornets): With Jarrett Allen missing this will make this the closest game of the play in. My prediction is that the Cavaliers survive based on their mix of youth and veterans. Cavs win
Troy Goostrey (Cavs v Hawks): Hawks again over a depleted Cleveland to grab 8th. Hawks win
Jesse Cotton (Cavs v Hawks): Okay, I’m picking the Hawks here, but like Greg’s brother, this one’s a little rich. The Cavs will still be without Allen and they’ve been in freefall since he went down. If it wasn’t for Milwaukee tanking the last game, the Hawks would’ve actually finished higher in the standings, so that’s my justification. Hawks win
"Huerter and Willis?" - Kevins
"Love and Johnson?" - Kevins
"Durant and Garnett?" - Kevins
"Bacon?" - Dwayne

Western Conference

7 Minnesota Timberwolves v 8 Los Angeles Clippers

David Ashman: Boy George realises he should be in Brooklyn with all the other sooks and quits mid game. The Wolves have been on the improve this year. Their pieces are now coming together nicely with a high octane team featuring KAT, Edwards and D-Lo Russell. They should run the Clippers out of the gym. Timberwolves win
Jarrod Cotton: LA Clippers will move on easily against the Wolves. My reasons are mainly due to coach Lue. Clippers win
Troy Goostrey: Clippers getting fit at the right time.  Good improvement year for the T-Wolves.  Clippers win to clinch the 7 seed. Clippers win
Andrew O’Callaghan: Timberwolves win
Dan Kelly: Definitely not the Clippers. Timberwolves win
Jesse Cotton: Two of the NBA’s most storied franchises square off here. With PG back, the Clippers are the team that went to the conference finals last year, only they’ve added Covington and Powell to the mix this time. A very deep team indeed. The Wolves on the other hand have only been to the playoffs once since Anthony Edwards’s 3rd birthday. Patrick Beverley might have them feeling confident, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be ready. Yo Clippers man, yeah Clippers, that’s cool. Clippers win
"He stinks!" - Patrick Beverley
"Like poo" - Sam Cassell
"Pardon me" - Pooh Richardson

9 New Orleans Pelicans v 10 San Antonio Spurs

David Ashman: Zion to make surprise comeback in this game and eat Popovic and the Spurs bench leaving their starters struggling. CJ McCollum to fire up and run riot against the slower Spurs. Pelicans win
Jarrod Cotton: I will not be watching the most boring game on this schedule so I’ll just go with San Antonio, the most boring team in NBA history. Spurs win
Troy Goostrey: Spurs too well coached and get this. McCollum going all world is how the Pels could surprise. Spurs win
Andrew O’Callaghan: Pelicans win
Dan Kelly: Spurs over Pelicans – toss the coin, still can’t believe a terrible Lakers couldn’t muster enough wins to be in this game. Spurs win
Jesse Cotton: None of these teams really deserve to have a shot at the playoffs, Portland tanked and the Lakers are trash (just ask Pat Bev) so these two Bradburyed their way in by default. Combined, they only beat Phoenix by 6 wins. But someone has to win, and without Dejounte Murray at full strength, it won’t be the Spurs, even with Donald Sutherland coaching. Pelicans have been playing well enough since CJ joined to get the job done. Pelicans win
"I'm the best you can do? Really?" - David West

EMMMMM DEEEEEEeeeeeeAndre Jordan

Playoff for the 8 Seed – West

David Ashman (Clippers v Pelicans): Zion is still hungry and proceeds to eat Steve Ballmer’s buffet like a hungry bunch of Aussie travellers smashing an american donut stand. Ballmer then blames it on Kawhi who leaves for Brooklyn in the offseason. Pelicans with a big upset and become a super team in the West with Zion now back. Zion is hungry for more. Pelicans win
Jarrod Cotton (Timberwolves v Spurs): The Wolves move into the actual playoffs defeating the Spurs. KAT has one of his best games of his career inspiring his teammates to also lift. Timberwolves win
Troy Goostrey (Timberwolves v Spurs): Minnesota clinch 8th with an easy W over the Spurs. Timberwolves win
Jesse Cotton (Timberwolves v Pelicans): The Timberwolves will realise that they actually have to put a bit of effort in to get a win in this play-in tournament and avoid going out in straight sets. Not that much effort though, it’s only the Pels. Timberwolves win
"I'm well known as a Clipper" - Lamond Murray
"I'm well known as a Spur" - Dejounte Murray
"I'm well known as a Pelican" - Murray Magpie

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