April 14, 2023

NBA playoffs 2023 – Experts’ picks for the play-in and every first-round series

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The 2023 NBA playoffs are here!

Eighteen teams still have a chance — some, uh, smaller than others — to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June. But first, two more teams need to come out of the play-in tournament. After losing to the Lakers, can the No. 8 seed Minnesota Timberwolves overcome Rudy Gobert’s suspension and Jaden McDaniel’s wall punch to defeat the the No. 10-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder, who continued their shocking run by shutting down the No. 9 seed Pelicans in New Orleans?

Over in the East, we have a Miami Heat team that has spent all season trying to overcome injuries and inconsistency taking on the Chicago Bulls.

And that’s just the play-in! Our experts have analyzed all the data; they’ve talked to insiders across the league.

Here are their final selections.

MORE: Everything to know | Schedules | Offseason guides

First round: Eastern Conference

Kendra Andrews: Celtics in 4

Jerry Bembry: Celtics in 6

Jamal Collier: Celtics in 5

Nick DePaula: Celtics in 5

Nick Friedell: Celtics in 4

Kirk Goldsberry: Celtics in 5

Israel Gutierrez: Celtics in 6

Tim MacMahon: Celtics in 5

Bobby Marks: Celtics in 5

Dave McMenamin: Celtics in 5

Jorge Sedano: Celtics in 5

Ramona Shelburne: Celtics in 5

André Snellings: Celtics in 5

Marc Spears: Celtics in 5

Ohm Youngmisuk: Celtics in 6


Final tally: Celtics 15, Hawks 0

Kendra Andrews: 76ers in 5

Jerry Bembry: 76ers in 5

Jamal Collier: 76ers in 5

Nick DePaula: 76ers in 5

Nick Friedell: 76ers in 5

Kirk Goldsberry: 76ers in 5

Israel Gutierrez: 76ers in 5

Tim Legler: 76ers in 6

Tim MacMahon: 76ers in 5

Bobby Marks: 76ers in 5

Dave McMenamin: 76ers in 5

Kevin Pelton: 76ers in 5

Jorge Sedano: 76ers in 5

Ramona Shelburne: 76ers in 5

André Snellings: 76ers in 5

Marc Spears: 76ers in 5

Ohm Youngmisuk: 76ers in 5


Final tally: 76ers 17, Nets 0

Kendra Andrews: Cavaliers in 6

Jerry Bembry: Knicks in 7

Jamal Collier: Cavaliers in 7

Nick DePaula: Cavaliers in 7

Nick Friedell: Knicks in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Cavaliers in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Cavaliers in 6

Tim Legler: Cavaliers in 7

Tim MacMahon: Cavaliers in 7

Bobby Marks: Cavaliers in 6

Dave McMenamin: Cavaliers in 7

Kevin Pelton: Cavaliers in 6

Jorge Sedano: Knicks in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Knicks in 6

André Snellings: Cavaliers in 7

Marc Spears: Cavaliers in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Cavaliers in 7


Final tally: Cavaliers 13, Knicks 4

First round: Western Conference

Kendra Andrews: Lakers in 6

Jerry Bembry: Grizzlies in 7

Jamal Collier: Lakers in 6

Nick DePaula: Lakers in 6

Nick Friedell: Grizzlies in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Lakers in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Grizzlies in 5

Tim MacMahon: Grizzlies in 7

Bobby Marks: Grizzlies in 6

Dave McMenamin: Lakers in 7

Jorge Sedano: Lakers in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Grizzlies in 7

André Snellings: Lakers in 6

Marc Spears: Lakers in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Lakers in 7


Final tally: Lakers 9, Grizzlies 6

Kendra Andrews: Warriors in 6

Jerry Bembry: Kings in 7

Jamal Collier: Warriors in 6

Nick DePaula: Warriors in 6

Nick Friedell: Warriors in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Warriors in 7

Israel Gutierrez: Warriors in 6

Tim Legler: Warriors in 6

Tim MacMahon: Warriors in 6

Bobby Marks: Kings in 6

Dave McMenamin: Warriors in 6

Kevin Pelton: Warriors in 6

Jorge Sedano: Warriors in 6

Ramona Shelburne: Warriors in 6

André Snellings: Warriors in 6

Marc Spears: Warriors in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Warriors in 7


Final tally: Warriors 15, Kings 2

Kendra Andrews: Suns in 7

Jerry Bembry: Suns in 6

Jamal Collier: Suns in 6

Nick DePaula: Suns in 6

Nick Friedell: Suns in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Suns in 6

Israel Gutierrez: Suns in 6

Tim Legler: Suns in 6

Tim MacMahon: Suns in 6

Bobby Marks: Suns in 6

Dave McMenamin: Suns in 7

Kevin Pelton: Suns in 6

Ramona Shelburne: Suns in 6

André Snellings: Suns in 7

Marc Spears: Suns in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Suns in 7


Final tally: Suns 16, Clippers 0

Eastern Conference Play-In

Kendra Andrews: Bulls

Jerry Bembry: Heat

Jamal Collier: Heat

Nick DePaula: Heat

Nick Friedell: Heat

Kirk Goldsberry: Bulls

Israel Gutierrez: Bulls

Tim MacMahon: Heat

Bobby Marks: Heat

Dave McMenamin: Heat

Kevin Pelton: Heat

Jorge Sedano: Heat

Ramona Shelburne: Bulls

André Snellings: Heat

Marc Spears: Bulls

Ohm Youngmisuk: Heat


Final tally: Heat 11, Bulls 5

Eastern Conference Play-In

Kendra Andrews: Heat

Jerry Bembry: Heat

Jamal Collier: Heat

Nick DePaula: Heat

Nick Friedell: Heat

Kirk Goldsberry: Heat

Israel Gutierrez: Heat

Tim Legler: Heat

Tim MacMahon: Heat

Bobby Marks: Heat

Dave McMenamin: Heat

Kevin Pelton: Heat

Jorge Sedano: Heat

Ramona Shelburne: Heat

André Snellings: Heat

Marc Spears: Heat

Ohm Youngmisuk: Heat


Final tally: Heat 17, Hawks 0

Eastern Conference Play-In

Kendra Andrews: Raptors

Jerry Bembry: Raptors

Jamal Collier: Bulls

Nick DePaula: Bulls

Nick Friedell: Raptors

Kirk Goldsberry: Raptors

Israel Gutierrez: Bulls

Tim Legler: Bulls

Tim MacMahon: Raptors

Bobby Marks: Raptors

Dave McMenamin: Raptors

Kevin Pelton: Raptors

Jorge Sedano: Raptors

Ramona Shelburne: Raptors

André Snellings: Raptors

Marc Spears: Bulls

Ohm Youngmisuk: Bulls


Final tally: Raptors 11, Bulls 6

Western Conference Play-In


Kendra Andrews: Thunder

Jerry Bembry: Thunder

Jamal Collier: Timberwolves

Nick DePaula: Thunder

Nick Friedell: Timberwolves

Kirk Goldsberry: Timberwolves

Israel Gutierrez: Thunder

Tim MacMahon: Thunder

Bobby Marks: Thunder

Dave McMenamin: Timberwolves

Kevin Pelton: Timberwolves

Jorge Sedano: Thunder

Ramona Shelburne: Timberwolves

André Snellings: Timberwolves

Marc Spears: Thunder

Ohm Youngmisuk: Timberwolves


Final tally: Thunder 8, Timberwolves 8

Kendra Andrews: Lakers

Jerry Bembry: Lakers

Jamal Collier: Lakers

Nick DePaula: Lakers

Nick Friedell: Lakers

Kirk Goldsberry: Lakers

Israel Gutierrez: Lakers

Tim Legler: Lakers

Tim MacMahon: Lakers

Bobby Marks: Lakers

Dave McMenamin: Lakers

Kevin Pelton: Lakers

Jorge Sedano: Lakers

Ramona Shelburne: Lakers

André Snellings: Lakers

Marc Spears: Lakers

Ohm Youngmisuk: Lakers


Final tally: Lakers 17, Wolves 0

Western Conference Play-In

Kendra Andrews: Thunder

Jerry Bembry: Thunder

Jamal Collier: Pelicans

Nick DePaula: Thunder

Nick Friedell: Pelicans

Kirk Goldsberry: Pelicans

Israel Gutierrez: Pelicans

Tim Legler: Pelicans

Tim MacMahon: Thunder

Bobby Marks: Thunder

Dave McMenamin: Pelicans

Kevin Pelton: Pelicans

Ramona Shelburne: Pelicans

André Snellings: Pelicans

Marc Spears: Pelicans

Ohm Youngmisuk: Pelicans


Final tally: Pelicans 11, Thunder 5

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