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Sport NBA playoff picture: The play-in, seeding scenarios as of Saturday

17:41  15 may  2021
17:41  15 may  2021 Source:   ftw.usatoday.com

Despite LeBron's Criticism, the Play-In Tourney Is Here to Stay

  Despite LeBron's Criticism, the Play-In Tourney Is Here to Stay Amid the Lakers' recent struggles, LeBron is not happy about the NBA’s play-in tournament. Plus, why Scott Brooks isn’t wrong about Russell Westbrook’s impact at the point guard position. View the original article to see embedded media.Welcome to the Morning Shootaround, where every weekday you’ll get a fresh, topical column from one of SI.com’s NBA writers: Howard Beck on Mondays, Chris Mannix on Tuesdays, Michael Pina on Wednesdays, Chris Herring on Thursdays and Rohan Nadkarni on Fridays.Back in February, with objections over the NBA’s decision to hold an All-Star game simmering, LeBron James turned up the heat.

NBA’s play-in games don’t make everyone happy (hi, LeBron James!), but they exist in 2021 whether you like them or not.

Damian Lillard holding a basketball © Provided by For The Win

So here’s what we’ll do ahead of the final day of the 2020-21 regular season on Sunday: we’ll look every day at what the matchups look like at the moment and the likelihood that some of the teams in the East and West will either avoid the play-ins or will probably need to win a game or two to make it to the true postseason.

We’re coming down to a thrilling finish, both up in the top seeds and in the play-in games out West (all stats via Basketball-Reference):

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Report: Theory that Clippers tanked to avoid Lakers 'totally true' .
The Clippers, who won more than 65 percent of their games, lost to Oklahoma City and Houston to end the regular season. The Thunder and Rockets had the two worst records in the Western Conference this season. So was there any coincidence? By losing, the Clippers locked themselves into the No. 4 spot in the West. That ensured they would be in a different bracket from the Lakers and only face them in the conference finals.The Clippers have denied the allegations. But they have some bigger problems anyway. They are down 2-0 to the Dallas Mavericks after losing the first two games of the series at home.

usr: 2
This is interesting!