The 2021-22 NBA regular season has officially come to an end. Before the playoffs get underway, there’s a two seeds in each respective conference up for grabs.
The NBA has implemented a play-in tournament to decide the seventh and eighth seeds in each conference. This gives the top ten teams in the East and West a chance to make it into the postseason.
Each conference will have a short tournament that showcases the eighth through tenth seeds. In a single-game two round event, the seventh and eighth seeds can make the playoffs with one win. The ninth and tenth seeds need to win twice in order to advance to the playoffs.
In the Western Conference, a matchup between the Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 7) and LA Clippers (No. 8) will take place on April 12 at 9:30 PM ET.
The winner of this game will advance to the postseason while the loser will have one final shot to make it in against the winner of the game between the ninth and tenth seed.
Minnesota finished its 2021-22 campaign with a record of 46-36, earning the No. 7 seed in the West. After starting the season 11-15, the Wolves went 35-21 the rest of the way.
The Timberwolves have been great on the offensive glass this season, which should be key for them in this matchup. However, they struggle to take care of the ball at times which could be detrimental.
Since the All-Star break, Minnesota has been on fire. Since that mark, the Wolves have been a top-five team in the NBA when it comes to win percentage.
The Clippers battled injuries all season, but still locked up the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed with a record of 42-40. Since getting Paul George back from injury, they’ve looked better and have won six of their last seven games.
The Clips are a great 3-point shooting team, finishing top-three in that category this season. On the flip side, they struggle on the glass and were bottom ten during the regular season.
The Clippers were a team that never gave up this season, overcoming numerous deficits and winning a ton of comeback games.
In the four matchups this season between these teams, the Clippers won the season series 3-1. LA won the first three games of the year against Minnesota, but the Timberwolves won the most recent. All three of the Clippers’ wins came in November, while the Wolves won the most recent game in January.
Since these teams haven’t played in several months, both rosters look different and they’re each playing at a different level.
The player to watch in this matchup is George, who will determine the Clippers’ ceiling in the play-in tournament and the postseason in general. For the Timberwolves, their superstar trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards is one of the best in the NBA.