14 April, 2023
The Los Angeles Lakers and Atlanta Hawks both secured the seventh seed in their respective conferences with victory in play-in tournaments on Tuesday, one over the Minnesota Timberwolves and the other over the Miami Heat. The No. 8 seeds in the Western Conference are at stake on Friday, and the outcomes of Wednesday’s games between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the New Orleans Pelicans and the Chicago Bulls and the Toronto Raptors will decide who will face Minnesota and Miami.
On Saturday night, the reigning champion Golden State Warriors will begin their title defense against the Sacramento Kings in a Game 1 game scheduled for prime time. While the Warriors’ road woes have been well documented this season, at least their playoff series can be played locally. For an experienced Warriors team that appears to have found its footing with three consecutive victories by double digits to finish out the regular season, this is the greatest possible outcome.
The Warriors scored 55 points in the first quarter of their season-ending game against the Portland Trail Blazers and went on to win by a final score of 157-101. The Kings will give the reigning champions more of a challenge, but their lack of playoff experience might be a deciding factor in the series.
Following a thrilling regular season, the playoffs, especially the first round, are guaranteed to deliver even more action in the coming weeks.
|ODDS TO WIN 2023 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP||MONEYLINE|
|Golden State Warriors||+750|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1400|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+4000|
|New York Knicks||+10000|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+50000|