After knocking off the Golden State Warriors in overtime last night, the Memphis Grizzlies punched the final ticket into the 2021 NBA playoffs. With the field of 16 teams now set, we can officially fill out our brackets, announce our temporary allegiance to another franchise, and get ready for two action-packed months of high level basketball.
The official #NBAPlayoffs bracket!— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2021
Games begin today on ABC & ESPN, starting at 2:00 PM ET. pic.twitter.com/S6Bc4lwCy4
Beginning later today with the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat, the NBA’s 2021 postseason will tip-off with a variety of title contenders, storylines, and drama. As of this morning, the newly-formed Brooklyn Nets are the odds on favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy, followed closely by both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers:
NBA FInals Odds ⬇️ The Play-ins start tomorrow pic.twitter.com/k3jA0cAGJE— BetMGM (@BetMGM) May 17, 2021
If I was a betting man (which I am), I’d probably put a nice little investment on the Philadelphia 76ers at +750. For a lot of these teams, the issue will boil down to “can they stay healthy,” but if Philly can get a full two months out of Joel Embiid, I really like their chances to “cut down the Nets” and eventually win their first NBA championship since 1983.
The schedule of games for this weekend is listed below, and a quick glance shows that we have some extremely juicy first round matchups to look forward to. Outside of Lakers/Suns, I think Mavericks/Clippers could give us some real fireworks, and the “takes” that will come from whoever loses the Heat/Bucks series may be hot enough to melt the Earth.
Saturday Playoff Schedule
- Heat @ Bucks (1:00PM CST)
- Mavericks @ Clippers (3:30PM CST)
- Celtics @ Nets (7:00PM CST)
- Blazers @ Nuggets (9:30PM CST)
Sunday Playoff Schedule
- Wizards @ Sixers (12:00PM CST)
- Lakers @ Suns (2:30PM CST)
- Hawks @ Knicks (6:00PM CST)
- Grizzlies @ Jazz (8:30PM CST)
For what it’s worth, I’ve officially got Sixers over Lakers in 6 games, but now is a great time to throw your own Finals predictions down below so we can come back in a few months and see who our new official Canis Gambling Guru™ will be. With that all said, I hope everyone has a great weekend, enjoy the weather outside wherever you may be logging in from, and let’s get ready for some high-quality hoops!