The 2023 NBA play-in tournament will determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in each conference, and it’ll be taken to a new level this year in the Western Conference. This playoff race was a true fight to the finish, with three of the four play-in spots being decided on the final day of the regular season.
The No. 7 seed will meet the No. 8 seed in the first game, with the winner becoming the No. 7 seed in the main playoff field. The loser of this game will play again in Friday’s play-in games. The No. 9 and No. 10 seeds also play, with the loser being eliminated and the winner facing the loser of the 7-8 game. The winner of Friday’s play-in between the 7-8 loser and 9-10 winner will be the No. 8 seed in the main playoff field.
Here’s a look at the 2023 play-in teams for the Western Conference.
2023 NBA play-in tournament: Western Conference bracket
No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers vs. No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans vs. No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder
The No. 7 seed has never lost the play-in game and the No. 10 seed has never won a play-in game, so the Lakers should clinch the No. 7 spot and the Thunder will likely be eliminated. That’ll mean one more game for the Timberwolves and Pelicans, who played a thriller to close out the regular season. The No. 9 seed has actually won the second play-in game more often so the Pelicans could be the team to advance, especially if the Timberwolves have some discipline for Rudy Gobert after he punched Kyle Anderson in Sunday’s finale.