There is nothing like the playoffs in every sport. Since the added Play-in Tournament in 2021, there has been an additional thrilling question: Which 7 or 8 seeded team will be the first one to win an actual playoff series. In the two years that the implementation took place, it did not happen once. Will it be this year? There might be a surprise awaiting us in the Western Conference. Here is why.
Teams in Play
Now that we know which teams have made it, let’s take a closer look at which one could cause a real surprise. And if you want to take a better look at their chances of getting out of the first round, SportyTrader is a recommendable place to discover the most attractive basketball odds, where they compare bookmakers’ odds to help the bettors choose the best option to place their bet.
Minnesota Timberwolves (8th seed)
There was trouble brewing between players a few days back, and that is never good news. When a good player like Rudy Gobert gets to sit a game, it is not a very positive sign. Keep in mind also that Jaden McDaniels is out with a fractured hand at the moment. They will be facing the Nuggets who are the number one seed in the Western conference, which only add to their task. This said, the T-Wolves are a great shooting team, especially from deep. Will that be enough in the end? Probably not.
Los Angeles Lakers (7th seed)
If there is one team that can cause a surprise, it has to be the Los Angeles Lakers. They have been on fire since the all-star break with 16 wins and only 7 losses. During that time, they went all the way up to the number four best defensive team in the league. Add to these stats one of the best frontcourt and benches, and you have an upset victory in the making, or at least it is not so far fetch to think so. Lets’ see if they will make history as the first play-in team to win a series.
Miami Heat (8th seed)
How about the Heat? Well, their biggest issue has to be that they will be playing the Bucks, which are comfortably sitting as the number one seed, and favourite by many to win it all. But if any other team can cause an upset, it has to be them. They are a team that doesn’t falter with too many fouls and they transition well on defense. However, the same can’t be said about their offense, which could cause them many issues in this unfair fight with Milwaukee.
Atlanta Hawks (7th seed)
The Hawks did not meet expectations this year. With Dejounte Murray and Trae Young in their ranks, they should have fared better than they did. Still, they made it to the playoffs, which is a show of determination and strength. Can they keep it going against the Boston Celtics? Probably not. Boston is a city on fire right now, with the Celtics being one of the favourites to go all the way in the NBA, and the Bruins who haven’t slowed down all year are getting ready to go and grab the Stanley Cup, on their side.