The NBA Play-Ins have set in, it had to be the penultimate day of the Regular Season to get our final seedings to determine who are in the Top 6 of the seedings and the next 4 seeds from 7-10 places who could be in for an IPL style Play-in (Playoffs for IPL) tournament.
Matchups for Play-In
1. Los Angeles Lakers (7) v/s Golden State Warriors (8)
2. Memphis Grizzlies (9) v/s San Antonio Spurs (10)
1. Boston Celtics (7) v/s Washington Wizards (8)
2. Charlotte Hornets (9) v/s Indiana Pacers (10)
LeBron James & Anthony Davis missed significant regular season games due to Injuries – Source – lakernation.com
Why do the LA Lakers Find themselves in this situation?
The Lakers, defending champions, could have thought at the start of the season that the Lakers could find themselves in a Play-In scenario at the end of the season. But injuries to Lebron James who missed 27 games in this season, Anthony Davis missing out for almost 2 months due to calf injury, Dennis Schroder missed out in crucial games at the end of the season due to health and safety protocols.
However, the reasons are not just restricted to health, Lakers has been a poor show even when all the players were healthy. Less productive minutes by Anthony Davis, a gamble of Marc Gasol to fill up places vacated by big men Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee proved a wrong move to the Lakers and hence they had to pursue Andre Drummond in a buyout from the Cavaliers. Kyle Kuzma again had a disappointing season where his production in the major games was almost nil and the Lakers eventually had to run with LeBron James to bail them out.
The Lakers, defending champions, could have thought at the start of the season that that Lakers could find themselves in a Play-In scenario at the end of the season. But injuries to Lebron James who missed 27 games in this season, Anthony Davis missing out for almost 2 months due to calf injury, Dennis Schroder missed out in crucial games at the end of the season due to health and safety protocols.
Steph Curry – The Scoring Champion 2020-21 Season
Golden State Warriors – Surprise No.8 Entrant?
Former 2-time MVP, 3x champion, one half of the Splash Brothers and probably the greatest NBA Shooter of All-Time a.k.a Steph Curry has been on a God mode this season. With Klay Thompson out for the season, even before the season started- it was expected that Curry and the squad will have another season of tanking. Steph Curry returning from a hand injury which ruled him out for the last season had made his recovery. Curry was doubted by everyone about his capabilities of carrying a squad all alone. He was always with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and also played with Kevin Durant for 2 seasons before he moved to the Brooklyn Nets.
Silencing the doubters, Curry won the scoring title this season with averages of 32 Points, 5.8 Assists, 5.5 Rebounds along with 42.1% 3 Point Percentages for the regular season. However, the supporting cast of Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Kelly Oubre Jr have risen from the dead for the last 20 games of the season.
Here they have lost out on their Rookie James Wiseman, who could have been a great fit in the Line-up, but has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a right meniscus tear.
Predictions for the Match?
Get your popcorns out for this. We have a LeBron v/s Curry matchup after ages and we are not used to situations like these. Stephen Curry and LeBron James have been a regular fixture in the Post-Season, with Curry looking hungrier than ever and Lebron James being recovered from his injury, the predictions are not that easy. However, there are few reasons to which the LA Lakers might make a cut in this Play-In game
- A Healthy Anthony Davis, Lebron James, Dennis Schroder, Andre Drummond, and KCP v/s Steph Curry, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr, and Draymond Green – the lineup looks like a mismatch and the Lakers currently hold a 2-1 regular season win record for this season. This could probably be a factor to consider and the Lakers should be in for the 7th seed.
- GSW ranks 21st in the NBA for points allowed - a staggering 113 points per game which is a terrible record in comparison to the Lakers who are 2nd in the Standings with 106.7 points allowed.
- Who is the Warrior's 2nd scoring option, if Curry Fails to play well for that game?
Here the game is set and will be aired in India on Wednesday 19th May, 2021 at 7.30AM on the NBA App.
Golden State Warriors v/s Lakers – Source – Daily Sabah
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