The NBA Playoffs 2021 is finally here!
It will officially begin on Saturday, May 22, following the nerve-racking play-in tournament. The final two seeds in each conference will vie for the championship spots from May 18-22.
This year’s NBA season has become unpredictable since lots of unexpected twists had taken place. For instance, the defending champion, Los Angeles Lakers, are not even on the top 4 seed in the Western Conference. Yup, you read that right!
The culprit? Injuries. It had plagued star players such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Because of this, there are now new contenders: the Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Denver Nuggets.
For the East, on the one hand, there seems to be one team floating down past the top 3—Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets, and Philadelphia 76ers, the defending Eastern Conference champion, Miami Heat.
The Heat made it through the 2020-2021 regular season strong and has secured a better positioning for another run to the NBA Finals.
Here’s a look at the first round of the play-in tournament. Two teams from each conference will secure the seventh and eighth seeds:
Play-In Tournament Schedule
Eastern Conference (Tuesday, 18 May 2021)
No. 10 Charlotte Hornets at No. 9 Indiana Pacers (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT)
No. 8 Washington Wizards at No. 7 Boston Celtics (9 p.m. ET, TNT)
Western Conference (Wednesday, 19 May 2021)
No. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)
No. 8 Golden State Warriors at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)
For the first round of the NBA Playoffs 2021, you can take a look at the schedule below. The dates and times are still to be determined.
First Round of the NBA Playoffs 2021 Schedule
No. 1 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 8 Play-in winner 2
No. 4 New York Knicks vs. No. 5 Atlanta Hawks
No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 6 Miami Heat
No. 2 Brooklyn Nets vs. No. 7 Boston Celtics/Washington Wizards
No. 1 Utah Jazz vs. No. 8 Play-in winner 2
No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas Mavericks
No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers
No. 2 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers/Golden State Warriors
Who do you think will be this year’s champion? Let us know in the comments!
—(Source: DraftKings Nation)