NBA 2023 Playoffs Preview: Play-In Tournament Round 1

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Summary

The NBA Playoffs are here, which means more chaos is about to commence!

The league with so many ups and downs, the NBA has been severely entertaining to watch this year and there looks to be no stopping anytime soon.

The league has provided us with a winner takes all play-in tournament, something which these last eight teams will be fighting for very hard.

Laying it all out on the court to create an opportunity to make a run at an NBA Championship is something that most every other sport allows, with things like wild card spots being given to mid table teams.

The aspect of an underdog making a run to win it all is quite real in most sports, and it is about time that the NBA has caught on with the masses.

These play-in games are no joke, and franchises can be rejuvenated in full with a win or advancement into a top eight seed.

The Minnesota Timberwolves last season were a great example and there are plenty of great storylines to follow here in this year’s iteration.

Let’s take a look at some of the best play-in first round matchups of the week on Stake.com’s sportsbook.

Match Betting Previews

Los Angeles Lakers versus Minnesota Timberwolves - Tuesday, April 11th

The LA Lakers are making amends to finally become the team they have always wanted to be in 2023.

The latter half of the season saw GM Rob Pelinka make some much needed decisions to stock up his roster and really plan for the long haul.

The Lakeshow are more than capable of making a deep run this season, and it might be one of the last years of true relevancy.

Rob Pelinka has signalled a fighting spirit to this team after acquiring some very much solid pieces to build around AD and LeBron.

D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt have been two of the most complementary players in the locker room, and they will be playing alongside Austin Reaves and the two big stars to make a run in 2023.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently reeling at the worst time possible.

After several horrible altercations that have led to the downfall of the team over the last few weeks, Rudy Gobert and Kyle Anderson having a fight on the bench did not bode well for their overall team morale.

The whole Minnesota sports nation will be praying that this squad figures it out for the play-in, but time is severely limited.

Prediction - Los Angeles Lakers win a close one, with the over points total also being secured.

Chicago Bulls versus Toronto Raptors - Wednesday, April 12th

On the Eastern Conference side of the coin, we have the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors taking each other on for a spot in the next round of the play-in, one that will be truly tough to beat if this one go as planned.

Chicago is not playing the most exciting form of basketball heading into this game, but they will have an ability to showcase their two stars in DeMar Derozan and Zach Lavine.

The former of which will be making his return to Toronto in playoff form.

Pascal Siakam and the Raptors will have a lot on their plate, but this game should be winnable in both facets.

Whichever team comes out more prepared will surely take an early lead and possibly run away with the game.

Prediction - Toronto Raptors Moneyline and under on points.

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