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NBA Play-In Tournament Set with Star-Stubbed Field in the West

The regular season is officially over in the National Basketball Association. The Playoffs as well as the Play-In Tournament is set. Speaking of the Play-In, there is a lot of buzz for this year's Play-In because it is star-stubbed.

Talking the likes of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Joel Embiid, just to new a few, are playing their way into the NBA Playoffs. Let's dive into the Western Conference Play-In.

Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans

The West Play-In field is filled with 3 of the 4 teams that were in the playoffs last year plus filled with star power. The 7th seed is the only West team to not make the playoffs last year in the New Orleans Pelicans but are in the Play-In once again. This time around however, Zion Williamson is healthy and ready for his first post-season action. The Pelicans look to advance in the playoffs this go around than last season. They fell short in the capturing the 8th seed after losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This year, the Pelicans get two chances to make the playoffs, but the health of Brandon Ingram is a big question mark.

The 8th seed is the most famous team of the four as LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are in the Play-In for the third time. Last year, the Lakers captured the 7th seed by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 7v8 matchup in overtime. That sparked a run to the Western Conference Finals where they would get swept by eventually World Champions, Denver Nuggets. Now the Lakers are right back in the Play-In to capture the 7th seed once again.

The Lakers beat the Pelicans on Sunday that forced the Pelicans to drop to the Play-In Tournament from 6 to 7. Now on Tuesday evening right back in Smoothie King Center, the Lakers and Pelicans battle for the 7th seed and a first-round matchup with the World Champions, Denver Nuggets.

Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings

The 9th seed team is the West are in unfamiliar territory in the Sacramento Kings. Last season the Kings were the 3-seed in West from above the Play-In status they are in now. Just two games worse than last season from 48-34 in 2023 to 46-36 this season. An up and down year for the Kings is now a "Win or Go Home" situation.

The 10th seed team is a familiar team, who are 4x champions in the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are in a place where they did not have success the last time in the Play-In Tournament. The 2021 Play-In Tournament where Stephen Curry tried his best to lead his team out of the Play-In and into the Playoffs, but LeBron James and the Lakers ousted the Warriors. Now the Warriors are back in the Play-In and in the same position as 2021 in a "Win or Go Home" scenario.

The 9v10 matchup is a rematch from last years' first-round playoff between the Kings and the Warriors. An epic 7-game series these teams had where Stephen Curry would lead the Warriors the past Kings. Curry went for 50 points in Game 7, the first NBA player to score 50 in a Game 7, as the Warriors took down the 3-seed Kings in Sacramento. Now, this is Game 7 on Tuesday night because it is "Win or Go Home" for one to advance to Friday's Play-In game for the 8th seed.


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