The NBA playoffs are set to begin in about a week, the play-in tournament begins on May 18th. A quick recap for those who are still confused by the play-in tournament.
The 7 seed plays the 8 seed, the winner becomes the 7 seed. The 9 seed plays the 10 seed and the winner of that game plays the loser of the 7/8 game, the winner of that game becomes the 8 seed.
Dream Play-In Matchup: Lakers vs. Warriors
Steph vs. LeBron in a single-winner advances game? If you don’t want to see this matchup in the play-in tournament, you might be crazy (or a Lakers fan with some wishful thinking). This game would provide plenty of fireworks to kick off the NBA playoffs, and we certainly cannot complain about that.
5 Matchups Every NBA Fan Should Want
Let’s take a look at 5 playoff matchups that would be fantastic for NBA fans to watch, in no particular order.
1. Jazz vs. Nuggets
While this matchup would be missing Jamal Murray, one of the most entertaining storylines of last years playoffs, a rematch of the second round showdown from last season would be something that no one is complaining about. The season series is led by Utah 2-1, but all three games were fairly close. The likely MVP of the league Nikola Jokić is playing at an even higher level this season, the Jazz currently host the NBA’s best overall record, and both teams have added some role pieces. What more could you ask for?
2. Lakers vs. Clippers
The Clippers swept the season series between these two teams 3-0, but none of those matchups had either team fully healthy. With both teams finally looking to regain full strength just in time for the playoffs, the Battle of LA is a matchup that simply can’t be left off this list. Please basketball gods give us the matchup that we all have wanted since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teamed up on the Clippers.
3. Nets vs. 76ers
The top two teams in the Eastern Conference facing off in likely the Eastern Conference Finals, based on the current standings. Joel Embiid has looked absolutely unstoppable for much of this season, specifically with averages of 30.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in three games against the Nets. But we can’t ever count out Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
4. Bucks vs. Nets
These two teams have provided three of the most entertaining games of the season, with Milwaukee winning two of the three. Both of these teams have made obvious improvements during the past year, and both are poised for a championship run. Only one of these teams can reach the Conference Finals, as they would likely face off in the second round. This could be one of the most entertaining, competitive series if these teams end up confronting each other.
5. Nets vs. Lakers
The Lakers and Nets are both featured quite a bit in this article but come on. Don’t tell me you don’t want this. Oh, you don’t? You’re lying. LeBron vs. Kyrie. The Nets three-headed monster vs. LeBron. Two of the preseason favorites facing off in the NBA Finals. We need this.
All stats taken from NBA.com, ESPN.com, or Basketball Reference unless otherwise stated.
Check out our new podcast episode!
This episode talks about the craziness that’s about to occur in the playoffs, what a wonderful time to be alive.