NBA playoffs: Experts' picks for the play-in tournament and first round

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Saturday, April 16, 2022

What lies ahead in the NBA postseason?

The Brooklyn Netsand Minnesota Timberwolves are advancing to the first round, while the Cleveland Cavaliers,Atlanta Hawks,LA ClippersandNew Orleans Pelicanseach have a chance at grabbing their conference's No. 8 seed on the final night of the play-in tournament.(Here's a refresher on how the play-in works.)

The league's two top-seeded teams -- the East's Miami Heat and the West's Phoenix Suns-- await their opponents, but six first-round series are set: Boston Celtics vs. Nets,Milwaukee Bucks vs. Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves,Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz.

Can Boston slow down Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving? How will Joel Embiid and James Harden fare in the duo's first playoff series together? What impact will Luka Doncic's calf strain have on the Mavericks' chances? Our panel of NBA experts is picking each first-round series.

MORE: What to know for the NBA postseason | Schedules


Atlanta Hawks (9) at Cleveland Cavaliers(8)

Kendra Andrews: Hawks

Jerry Bembry: Cavaliers

Jamal Collier: Hawks

Nick DePaula: Hawks

Nick Friedell: Hawks

Kirk Goldsberry: Hawks

Israel Gutierrez: Cavaliers

Tim Legler: Hawks

Andrew Lopez: Cavaliers

Tim MacMahon: Hawks

Bobby Marks: Cavaliers

Dave McMenamin: Cavaliers

Kevin Pelton: Hawks

Jorge Sedano: Hawks

André Snellings: Hawks

Marc J. Spears: Cavaliers

Ohm Youngmisuk: Hawks

Final tally: Hawks 11, Cavaliers 6.

New Orleans Pelicans (9) at LA Clippers(8)

Kendra Andrews: Clippers

Jerry Bembry: Clippers

Jamal Collier: Clippers

Nick DePaula: Pelicans

Nick Friedell: Clippers

Kirk Goldsberry: Clippers

Israel Gutierrez: Pelicans

Tim Legler: Pelicans

Andrew Lopez: Clippers

Tim MacMahon: Clippers

Dave McMenamin: Clippers

Kevin Pelton: Clippers

Jorge Sedano: Clippers

André Snellings: Clippers

Marc J. Spears:Clippers

Ohm Youngmisuk: Clippers

Final tally: Clippers 13, Pelicans 3.


Boston Celtics(2) vs. Brooklyn Nets(7)

Kendra Andrews: Celtics in 7

Jerry Bembry: Nets in 6

Jamal Collier: Celtics in 7

Nick DePaula: Nets in 6

Nick Friedell: Nets in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Celtics in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Celtics in 7

Richard Jefferson: Nets in 7

Tim Legler: Celtics in 7

Andrew Lopez: Nets in 7

Zach Lowe: Celtics in 6

Tim MacMahon: Celtics in 7

Bobby Marks: Celtics in 7

Dave McMenamin: Nets in 7

Kevin Pelton: Celtics in 7

Omar Raja: Nets in 7

Jorge Sedano: Nets in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Celtics in 7

André Snellings: Celtics in 7

Marc J. Spears: Nets in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Nets in 6

Final tally: Celtics 11, Nets 10.

Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Chicago Bulls (6)

Kendra Andrews: Bucks in 5

Jamal Collier: Bucks in 4

Nick DePaula: Bucks in 5

Nick Friedell: Bucks in 4

Kirk Goldsberry: Bucks in 5

Israel Gutierrez: Bucks in 4

Richard Jefferson: Bucks in 5

Tim Legler: Bucks in 5

Andrew Lopez: Bucks in 6

Zach Lowe: Bucks in 4

Tim MacMahon:Bucks in 5

Bobby Marks: Bucks in 6

Dave McMenamin: Bucks in 4

Kevin Pelton: Bucks in 4

Kendrick Perkins: Bucks in 6

Omar Raja: Bucks in 5

Jorge Sedano: Bucks in 4

Ramona Shelburne: Bucks in 5

André Snellings: Bucks in 4

Marc J. Spears: Bucks in 6

Ohm Youngmisuk: Bucks in 5

Final tally: Bucks 21, Bulls 0.

Philadelphia 76ers (4) vs. Toronto Raptors (5)

Kendra Andrews: 76ers in 6

Jamal Collier: 76ers in 7

Nick DePaula: 76ers in 6

Nick Friedell: 76ers in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Raptors in 7

Israel Gutierrez: 76ers in 7

Richard Jefferson: 76ers in 6

Tim Legler: 76ers in 7

Andrew Lopez: Raptors in 6

Zach Lowe: 76ers in 7

Tim MacMahon:76ers in 6

Bobby Marks:Raptors in 6

Dave McMenamin: 76ers in 7

Kevin Pelton: Raptors in 6

Kendrick Perkins: 76ers in 6

Omar Raja: 76ers in 7

Jorge Sedano: Raptors in 7

Ramona Shelburne: 76ers in 7

André Snellings: Raptors in 7

Marc J. Spears: 76ers in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk:76ers in 7

Final tally: 76ers 15, Raptors 6.


Memphis Grizzlies (2) vs Minnesota Timberwolves (7)

Kendra Andrews: Grizzlies in 5

Jerry Bembry: Grizzlies in 6

Jamal Collier: Grizzlies in 6

Nick DePaula: Grizzlies in 6

Nick Friedell: Grizzlies in 5

Kirk Goldsberry: Grizzlies in 6

Israel Gutierrez: Grizzlies in 7

Richard Jefferson: Grizzlies in 5

Tim Legler: Grizzlies in 5

Andrew Lopez:Grizzlies in 5

Zach Lowe: Grizzlies in 6

Tim MacMahon: Grizzlies in 6

Bobby Marks: Grizzlies in 5

Dave McMenamin: Grizzlies in 6

Kevin Pelton: Grizzlies in 6

Kendrick Perkins: Grizzlies in 5

Jorge Sedano: Grizzlies in 6

Ramona Shelburne: Grizzlies in 6

André Snellings: Grizzlies in 6

Marc J. Spears: Grizzlies in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Grizzlies in 6

Final tally: Grizzlies 21, Timberwolves 0.

Golden State Warriors (3) vs. Denver Nuggets (6)

Kendra Andrews: Warriors in 5

Jamal Collier: Warriors in 6

Nick DePaula: Warriors in 6

Nick Friedell: Warriors in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Warriors in 6

Israel Gutierrez: Warriors in 7

Richard Jefferson: Warriors in 6

Tim Legler: Warriors in 6

Andrew Lopez: Warriors in 7

Zach Lowe: Warriors in 6

Tim MacMahon:Warriors in 6

Bobby Marks: Warriors in 7

Dave McMenamin: Nuggets in 7

Kevin Pelton: Warriors in 7

Kendrick Perkins: Warriors in 6

Omar Raja: Warriors in 7

Jorge Sedano: Warriors in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Warriors in 5

André Snellings: Warriors in 7

Marc J. Spears: Warriors in 6

Ohm Youngmisuk: Warriors in 7

Final tally: Warriors 20, Nuggets 1.

Dallas Mavericks (4) vs. Utah Jazz (5)

Kendra Andrews: Mavericks in 6

Jamal Collier: Mavericks in 6

Nick DePaula: Mavericks in 6

Nick Friedell: Mavericks in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Jazz in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Mavericks in 6

Richard Jefferson: Jazz in 7

Tim Legler: Mavericks in 7

Andrew Lopez: Mavericks in 6

Zach Lowe: Jazz in 6

Tim MacMahon:Jazz in 6

Bobby Marks: Jazz in 6

Dave McMenamin: Mavericks in 6

Kevin Pelton: Jazz in 6

Kendrick Perkins: Jazz in 7

Omar Raja: Jazz in 6

Jorge Sedano: Mavericks in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Mavericks in 7

André Snellings: Jazz in 6

Marc J. Spears: Jazz in 6

Ohm Youngmisuk: Mavericks in 5

Final tally: Mavericks 11, Jazz 10.

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