Playoff Run: 2024 Postseason Games Tipoff in 29 Days

If the NBA Play-In Tournament were to start today my two favorite teams in the Eastern Conference would have a chance to face each other in game two of the Play-In Tournament. Over the next month I will be providing weekly updates about the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenths seeds in both the Conferences.

Philadelphia 76ers

Going into play on Saturday Power Forward Robert Covington will have missed 34 games due to his knee injury. In that span the 76ers have a 13-21 record. As I write this they continue to struggle without him having lost 7 of 10 their; three of those losses were against eastern conference teams who are guaranteed playoff spots if the season ended today. If this free fall they’ve been on due to Covington’s injury continues they could fall out of the Play-In Tournament in favor of the Brooklyn Nets pushing everyone else up one spot and causing a repeat of last year in Game one of the Play-In Tournament where the Bulls faced the Heat.

Miami Heat

As I write this the Heat are getting ready to play the lowly Detroit Pistons. That’s likely going to be a guaranteed win for them. Like the 76rtd they are also missing their Power Forward Kevin Love. He has been out since the end of February with a bruised heel. Including the game he suffered the injury against the Trail Blazers on February the 27th they have lost five of eight games.

Also, we can not forget about the other injured players on the heat roster Point Guard Tyler Herro (foot) and Small Forward Josh Richardson (shoulder). With Love and Herro out for what seems like to be an extended period of time and Richardson out for the season Heat seem to be doing just fine and are basically guaranteed a Play-In Spot at this point. However, the question is will they be able to advance past the Play-In games without Love and Herro. Only time will tell.

Chicago Bulls

Going into play on Saturday the Bulls have played a mediocre game on the court losing four games against teams that are guaranteed playoff spots if the season ended after today.  Point Guard Coby White has really come into his own this season to the point where I would not be surprised if Executive Vice President Arturas Karnisovas and General Manager Marc Eversley decide to build around him this summer and moving on from the Lonzo Ball Era. That said, he did suffer what turned out to be a minor hip injury earlier this week against the Pacers. As a result, he is listed as day-t0-day. Forward Julian Phillips is also out indefinitely with a foot injury.

Here’s the thing folks: While the Bulls would make the Play-In tournament if the season ended Friday. They would need to find themselves in the seventh spot to have a chance at getting past the first round and that seems very unlikely to happen. As a result, they are likely to be watching the majority of the playoffs from their couches when all is said and done a month from now.

Atlanta Hawks

Like the Bulls and the Heat the Hawks have played mediocre over their last ten games. Like the Heat the Hawks will be playing tonight and have a laundry list of players who are injured mostly with foot or ankle injuries. Saddiq Bey suffered a knee injury in Sundays game against the New Orleans Pelicans and is out for the season with a torn ACL. Guard Kobe Bufkin is out with a toe injury and is due to be revaluated on Sunday. While Center Onyeka Okongwu who has been out since late February with is out with a toe injury and is due back sometime in the next. At the end of the day, these three guys are quite important to the Hawks hopes to even have a chance at making the playoffs.

With that…. the clock is ticking on the season for these four teams to squeak into the playoffs and with all the adversity they are all suffering from we could see a couple upsets a month from now.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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