October 1, 2023

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2023 NBA Play-In Tournament Expert Picks, Predictions: Hawks-Heat, Timberwolves-Lakers Tuesday

The 2022-23 regular season is coming to a close and four of its eight games are set to be in the first round. The other four will, of course, be decided by the play cycle as the top two seeds in each conference (the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies in the West, and the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics in the East) wait to see who they draw.

Gameplay reminder: No. 7 plays No. 8 and No. 9 plays No. 10. The winner of the 7-8 game gets the No. 7 seed, while the loser-winner of the 9-10 game plays the No. 8 seed.

Below, you’ll find our staff picks for the first round of play-by-play games as well as the elimination game for the No. 8 seed.

date: Tuesday 11 April | time: 7:30 p.m. ET | TV and live broadcast: TNT

date: Tuesday 11 April | time: 10pm ET | TV and live broadcast: TNT

Featured game | Los Angeles Lakers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

date: Wed 12 Apr | time: 7 p.m. ET | TV and live broadcast: ESPN

Featured game | Toronto Raptors vs Chicago Bulls

date: Wed 12 Apr | time: 9:30 p.m. ET | TV and live broadcast: ESPN

Featured game | New Orleans Pelicans vs Oklahoma City Thunder

8th seed in play (East)

Bill Reiter: Bulls over hawks

Brad Botkin: Hawks over birds of prey

James Herbert: Hawks over birds of prey

Colin Ward Henninger: Birds of Prey over Hawks

Sam Quinn: Heating over birds of prey

Jasmine Wimpish: Hawks over bulls

Jack Maloney: Bulls over hawks

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Michael Caskey Blumen: Hawks over bulls

8th seed (West)

Bill Reiter: Timberwolves over thunder

Brad Botkin: swans over wolves

James Herbert: Timberwolves over thunder

Colin Ward Henninger: swans over wolves

Sam Quinn: Thunder over the Timberwolves

Jasmine Wimpish: Thunder over the Timberwolves

Jack Maloney: swans over wolves

Michael Caskey Blumen: Timberwolves over thunder