Tonight is when we will see if the Play-Ins were worth it.
Both games last night were duds. Duh.
The Hornets never even showed up in their matchup with the Pacers. That game was over by the end of the first quarter. Then we thought Washington and Boston might give us a competitive game until the Wizards fizzled out down the stretch as Jayson Tatum dotted their eyes for 50 points.
While both of the Eastern Conference Play-In games were hot garbage, the success of this round was always going to be predicated on how entertaining this Warriors and Lakers game will be. Let’s be honest, all the other games were secondary to this one, including Memphis/San Antonio, and no one truly cared about the bottom-feeder teams in the East. None of them were giving the top seeds in the East a run for it, so it’s all a wash anyway.
However, these two West squads have a chance to make some real noise in the playoffs. The Lakers are finally looking healthy and the Warriors have arguably the best player in the game right now in Steph Curry. Either one of these teams can give Phoenix or Utah work. And did I also mention that this Play-In game is featuring ol’ whatshisname... LeBron James?
There’s so much basketball history between LeBron and Steph that there might be a docuseries made on it one day.
So yeah: This is the matchup that’s going to prove whether or not this Play-In round thing is for real.
The storylines are already there. The players are playing some of their best ball of the season and these teams have a serious chance to author an upset in the actual First Round.
This is the game that the NBA wanted when it thought about a Play-In: Two worthy teams battling it out for a chance to get into the postseason with star power reigning supreme and firepower enough to keep it going.
Warriors versus Lakers. Let’s hope this game proves the NBA’s newest innovation was the correct move.