2023-24 NBA East & West – 8th Seed Game Finals Play-In Preview

Pelicans PF Zion Williamson won’t be in action on Friday night but SF Brandon Ingram will be. Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

This has been one of the best ideas that the NBA has come up with in years. This is the second season that the Play-In games have taken place and it hasn’t let any hoop fans down. There were teams sitting in the 9th and 10th spot in both conferences vying for the last playoff spots available this season. The LA Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings were the four teams in the West. The Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls represented the Eastern Conference. There are two Play-In games left and I believe my picks are pretty solid. The last two games for the play-in tournament will be between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat for the 8th and final spot in the East while Sacramento Kings battle the New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th seed in the West. Let’s take a closer look at the final two play-in games for the NBA playoffs this season.

NBA Play-In Games

Chicago Bulls vs Miami Heat
Date: April 19
Time: 6:00 p.m.
This game is for the 8th and final spot for the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls beat the Hawks by 15 points to get here. PG Coby White scored a career high 42 points to lift his team at home. The Heat lost to Philadelphia by 1 on the road. The winner gets a spot, and the loser is on vacation. This game will be closer than what anyone expects. Both teams play tough defense in the paint and shoot a high percentage from the free throw line. The team that gets to the line more often will win this one easily! I’m taking the Heat by 5, they have more experienced players on their roster.
Final Score: Bulls 100 – Heat 106

Sacramento Kings vs New Orleans Pelicans
Date: April 19
Time: 8:30 p.m.
The Kings knocked off the Golden State Warriors to make it to this game. The Kings won by 24 at home and this was a big shock to everyone. The New Orleans Pelicans are young and streaky. They lost to the LA Lakers by 1 point. Pelicans PF Zion Williamson scored 40 points before he
injured himself on a fluke play. The Pelicans have a chance to get that final spot even with Williams missing this game. Keep an eye on SF Brandon Ingram. He will be the key for a Pelicans victory at home for this one. I’m taking the Pelicans by 10!
Final Score: Kings 103 – Pelicans 113