🏀 LeBron & Steph Back in the Play-In

Even though the NBA postseason doesn't officially begin tonight, high-stakes basketball is back. LeBron and AD walk back into Smoothie King Arena to take on Zion and the Pelicans in the first game. Steph and the Dubs get a playoff rematch against the Kings in a single elimination game. Here we go! 👑 (2 min read)

The Play-In is Here

Is the play-in Adam Silver’s best tweak to the game since he took over as commissioner? I would say yes. The single-elimination tournament has made end of season basketball both exhilarating and honestly weird. Boban Marjanovic missed a free throw on purpose so the Clipper fans all won free chicken. GG Jackson dropped 44 points and Payton Pritchard had 38 and 12. But now the play-in is here, and we’re breaking down the western conference matchups tonight 👇

Imagine if that jam went down. These are the only moments that make you remember LeBron’s athleticism is declining, but regardless of losing a some of his otherworldly burst, the King has adjusted his game to remain one of the most impactful players in the league 👑

  • Will the Lakers’ success against the Pelicans continue as they gear up to play for the second time in three days? Expect this game to be much closer than Sunday’s

📍 Lakers @ Pelicans Preview

The key to the Laker’s success against New Orleans is out-bullying them and living in the paint. LA had a 50-12 points in the paint advantage during the first half of their game Sunday. If New Orleans wants a chance, they are going to have to limit rim pressure

  • Zion had been looking like a top-10 player heading into Sunday’s game, but the LeBron matchup seems to bother him, as he shies away from driving against him while he sags off

  • Just look at the two team’s rim attempts during the first half of Sunday’s contest — LA was 23/26, while New Orleans was 3/5

Still, despite how dominant the Lakers have looked against New Orleans, this game should come down to the wire. The matchup plays into LA’s favor, given the Pelicans’ inability to handle AD (JV is too slow, Nance is too small) and LeBron, but if they can get back to forcing turnovers on the perimeter, things might get interesting 👀

  • Spread: Lakers -1

  • Moneyline: Lakers -112, Pelicans -104

  • Over/Under: 223.5 Total Points

  • When: 7:30PM EST on TNT

📍 Warriors @ Kings Preview

The Warriors, like the Lakers, came alive during the back half of the season, going 18-10 after the All-Star break. And the late game of the night will feature a rematch between Steph and co vs DeAaron Fox, Sabonis and the Kings 🔥

  • I’m fairly confident in a Warriors win because Sacramento is limping into this one, having lost Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter, two important figures in their four-out offense

  • When more physicality is allowed, Draymond and Looney tend to help take Domantas out of the game

  • The last time these two teams played each other with stakes involved, Steph dropped 50 points in Sacramento in a game seven. Tonight marks a similar situation

  • Spread: Warriors -2.5

  • Moneyline: Warriors -142, Kings +120

  • Over/Under: 223.5 Total Points

  • When: 10:00PM EST on TNT

And here’s some Steph Curry Olympic hype to get you in the right headspace for tonight’s slate 🇺🇸

Trivia Question: Since the Play-In began in the 2020 Bubble, how many times have LeBron and AD had to claw their way out of it?

For My Parlay Gurus

Call me old fashioned, but I think both teams with the elder statesmen will handle business. When possessions are limited and more physicality is allowed, the Warriors have found ways to neutralize Domantas Sabonis. The Lakers’ strength of athletic size in the front-court have proven to be the Pelicans’ kryptonite 👇

  • Lakers -1 @ Pelicans: -108

  • Warriors -2.5 @ Kings: -114

$100 on this bet would win you $262 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

Want more sports content from Overtime? Check us out on TikTok 🗣

Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Join thousands of other informed subscribers

Trivia Answer: Three times, including this year. LeBron and AD are 2-0 in play-in games so far and last year, LeBron scored 30 points, with Davis grabbing 15 rebounds

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Many will enter, one (1) will win. Void where prohibited. Open to legal US & DC residents 18 years or older. Prize is one Overtime hoodie. Approximate retail value (“ARV”): $65. Entries are accepted until 11:59 pm EST on the day after the bet hits. See Campaign Terms for additional terms. ©2023 Overtime Sports, Inc. All rights reserved.