CBS Sports: NBA play-in game previews

The NBA post-season is upon us with most teams locking down their seeding knowing which team they will be facing in the first round of the playoffs. 

But with the NBA’s newest twist on the playoff rankings, the play-in games, teams ranked from 7th-10th in each conference will get one or two games to cement their position in this year’s postseason. 

One of the most intriguing teams in the league, the Brooklyn Nets, will take on the youthful Cleveland Cavaliers, with the winner sealing the 7th seed to take on the Boston Celtics in the first round. The loser will have a second opportunity to make the playoffs as the 8th seed, when they take on the winner of tomorrow’s Atlanta Hawks vs Charlotte Hornets game. 

CBS Sports’ Erik Kuselias is joined by Bill Reiter and Kenny White to discuss which team out of Brooklyn and Cleveland will be more value for money. 

Both Reiter and White agree that the unpredictable nature of the Nets have them favouring the outside shout of the Cavaliers, despite Cleveland missing their starting all-star center Jarrett Allen. 

In the 7th vs 8th seeded play-in game out West, the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Los Angeles Clippers. The winner of this game advances to a first round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies, whilst the loser will play the winner of the New Orleans Pelicans vs San Antonio Spurs game, which takes place tomorrow. 

Reiter isn’t assured that either team has value when it comes to the moneyline, but picks Timberwolves to win due to having more talent and also due to former Clippers player Patrick Beverley being able to galvanise his teammates in pressure situations. 

Alternatively, White sides with the Clippers due to them being the better defensive team. The LA Clippers have had both franchise players Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sidelined throughout the majority of the regular season, but George has recently returned, helping his side win 6 out of their last 7 games.