The fields are set and the new Play-In Tournament for the 2021 NBA Playoffs tip-off today. Over the next couple of days, the teams with the 7th through 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference will participate in a mini-tournament to decide who will move on to the playoffs as the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in each conference.
In the East, we’ve got the Boston Celtics (No. 7) against the Washington Wizards (No. 8) with the winner advancing straight to the No. 7 seed in the playoffs. We’ve also got the Indiana Pacers (No. 9) hosting the Charlotte Hornets (No. 10). The winner of this game will face the loser of the 7/8 game in a second play-in game that will determine which team advances to the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
In the West, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 7) against the Golden State Warriors (No. 8) for the No. 7 seed in the playoffs, with the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 9) against the San Antonio Spurs (No. 10).
The stakes are high in the NBA’s first-ever playoff Play-In Tournament and we’re kicking things off with a simulation to predict which team will move on. As we usually do for the playoffs, we’re turning to NBA 2K21. We simulate each game with the CPU controlling each team to see who will move on and who will go home. Here are the results!
Charlotte Hornets (No. 10) vs Indiana Pacers (No. 9)
Sim Results: Charlotte Hornets def. Indiana Pacers
Score Prediction: Hornets 114 – Pacers 96
No Gordon Hayward, no problem for the Charlotte Hornets who managed to defeat the Indiana Pacers in our first simulation of the Play-In Tournament. NBA 2K21 predicts the Hornets will defeat the Pacers 114 to 96.
Led by a big second quarter, in which the Hornets dropped 35 to the Pacers’ 14, Charlotte went into the second half with a 61 to 42 lead.
Devonte Graham led the Hornets in scoring and assists with 18 and 8, respectively. He shot 7 of 11 from the field, including an effective 4 of 6 from the three-point range.
Returning from injury, Domantas Sabonis racked up 19 boards. T.J. Warren and Caris Levert each led the team with 20 points each.
The sim seems pretty accurate to the storylines heading into this game. The Pacers lost two of the three meetings with the Hornets this season, and have struggled at home all year.