Monday, 15 Jul 2024

Around the NBA: 2021 Playoff Preview — The Basketball Movement

With the Play-In Tournament concluded, we can officially say that the 2020-21 NBA Playoffs have arrived. This year, there was a slight change in the format, as lower-seeded teams from the regular season had the opportunity to participate in a Play-In Tournament. In each conference, the teams with the 7th and 8th best records competed for the 7th seed, while the teams with the 9th and 10th best records battled for a chance at the 8th seed.

The tournament allowed these teams an extra chance to compete in a slightly shortened season of 72 games. In the Eastern Conference, the Pacers eliminated the Hornets, and the Celtics defeated the Wizards with an outstanding 50-point performance by Jayson Tatum. The Wizards, however, bounced back to secure the 8th seed by beating the Pacers.

In the Western Conference Play-In, the Grizzlies sent the Spurs home, while the Lakers claimed the 7th seed by defeating Steph Curry and the red-hot Warriors. In the 8th seed game, Memphis outlasted Golden State in an overtime victory, knocking out the MVP candidate Curry.

Now that the brackets are set, the 2021 NBA Playoffs are about to commence. The first round features exciting matchups that will captivate fans in best-of-seven-game series.

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Eastern Conference

The Celtics, after their impressive Play-In performance, face the talented Brooklyn Nets, who are considered one of the most skilled teams in the Playoffs. However, the Celtics may face challenges without their breakout star, Jaylen Brown, who is currently injured.

Washington also gets rewarded for their Play-In win, earning the opportunity to face the Philadelphia 76ers led by MVP candidate Joel Embiid. This series promises to be intense, with a history of feuds between Embiid and Westbrook adding to the excitement. But if the 76ers can avoid injuries, they should have no problem advancing.

The reigning Eastern Conference Champions, the Miami Heat, enter the Playoffs as the 6th seed and clash with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. After the Heat eliminated the Bucks in last year’s playoffs, this matchup holds a vendetta, making it one of the most competitive series in the first round.

In the 4/5 game, the surprising New York Knicks face the talented young Atlanta Hawks. Both teams have the potential to make significant strides, so this fresh and interesting matchup will be closely watched.

Western Conference

The 1st seed Utah Jazz might face a challenge from the Grizzlies, who are soaring high after their win against the Warriors. Despite the Grizzlies’ momentum, the Jazz, holding the NBA’s best record, possess the collective playoff experience needed to progress.

The defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, square off against the Phoenix Suns, who have exceeded expectations this season with the addition of Chris Paul. With the Lakers back at full strength and in top form, the young Suns face a tough test. If they can overcome this obstacle, they’ll prove their championship potential.

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Dallas has secured the 5th seed, and they aim to prove themselves against a formidable Clippers team. Led by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the Clippers possess the talent and depth to pose a significant challenge. Don’t underestimate their playoff capabilities.

Portland, after a season marked by injuries, is ready to showcase their scoring prowess against any opponent. They hope their team chemistry clicks at the right time. On the other side, Denver features MVP favorite Nikola Jokic and the emergence of Michael Porter Jr. following Jamal Murray’s injury. They are well-prepared for any competition.

For the full first-round schedule, visit Stay tuned here and follow us on Twitter as we provide comprehensive coverage of the best basketball action in the world.


Q1: How does the Play-In Tournament work in the NBA Playoffs?
The Play-In Tournament is a new addition to the NBA Playoffs format. Teams with the 7th and 8th best records in each conference compete for the 7th seed, while teams with the 9th and 10th best records battle for a chance at the 8th seed.

A1: What are some intriguing first-round matchups in the Eastern Conference?
In the Eastern Conference, the matchups to watch in the first round include the Celtics vs. the Nets, the Wizards vs. the 76ers, the Heat vs. the Bucks, and the Knicks vs. the Hawks. These series feature exciting storylines and potential upsets.

Q3: Who are the top contenders in the Western Conference?
The Utah Jazz, as the 1st seed, are considered strong contenders in the Western Conference. The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, despite their lower seed, are a formidable team to watch. Other contenders include the Clippers, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets.

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The 2021 NBA Playoffs have arrived, following an exciting Play-In Tournament to determine the lower-seeded teams. The Eastern Conference features captivating matchups, including the Celtics vs. the Nets, the Wizards vs. the 76ers, the Heat vs. the Bucks, and the Knicks vs. the Hawks. In the Western Conference, the Jazz, Lakers, Clippers, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets are the teams to watch. Stay tuned for intense basketball action as the playoffs unfold, and follow us on Twitter for comprehensive coverage.

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