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The 2021 NBA postseason tipped off Tuesday night with the Boston Celtics advancing to face the Brooklyn Nets in Round 1 of the playoffs. In the early game, the Indiana Pacers routed the Charlotte Hornets to set up a Thursday night clash with the Washington Wizards for the No. 8 seed.

Wednesday night, the San Antonio Spurs face the Memphis Grizzlies in the early game (7:30 ET, ESPN), followed by the Golden State Warriors taking on the Los Angeles Lakers (10 ET, ESPN).

The winner of Warriors-Lakers will earn the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, while the loser will face the winner of Spurs-Grizzlies on Friday to compete for the No. 8 seed.

Got all that? Good.

Will the defending champions go home early? How many sweeps will there be in the first round? What about historic upsets? Our experts make their predictions for every play-in game and every first-round matchup.

MORE: What to know for the 2021 playoffs | Full playoff schedule

Western Conference play-in: Game 1s

Jerry Bembry: Lakers

Nick DePaula: Warriors

Nick Friedell: Lakers

Kirk Goldsberry: Lakers

Tim Legler: Lakers

Tim MacMahon: Lakers

Bobby Marks: Lakers

Dave McMenamin: Lakers

Monica McNutt: Lakers

Kevin Pelton: Lakers

Jorge Sedano: Lakers

Ramona Shelburne: Lakers

André Snellings: Lakers

Marc J. Spears: Lakers

Royce Young: Lakers

Ohm Youngmisuk: Lakers


Final tally: Lakers (15), Warriors (1).

Jerry Bembry: Grizzlies

Nick DePaula: Grizzlies

Nick Friedell: Grizzlies

Kirk Goldsberry: Spurs

Tim Legler: Spurs

Tim MacMahon: Grizzlies

Bobby Marks: Grizzlies

Dave McMenamin: Grizzlies

Monica McNutt: Grizzlies

Kevin Pelton: Grizzlies

Jorge Sedano: Grizzlies

Ramona Shelburne: Grizzlies

André Snellings: Grizzlies

Marc J. Spears: Spurs

Royce Young: Grizzlies

Ohm Youngmisuk: Grizzlies


Final tally: Grizzlies (13), Spurs (3).

Eastern Conference play-in: Game 2

Jerry Bembry: Pacers

Nick DePaula: Pacers

Nick Friedell: Wizards

Kirk Goldsberry: Wizards

Tim Legler: Wizards

Tim MacMahon: Wizards

Bobby Marks: Wizards

Dave McMenamin: Wizards

Monica McNutt: Wizards

Kevin Pelton: Wizards

Jorge Sedano: Wizards

Ramona Shelburne: Pacers

André Snellings: Wizards

Marc J. Spears: Wizards

Royce Young: Wizards

Ohm Youngmisuk: Wizards


Final tally: Wizards (13), Pacers (3).

Eastern Conference: Round 1

Jerry Bembry: Nets in 5

Nick DePaula: Nets in 5

Nick Friedell: Nets in 5

Kirk Goldsberry: Nets in 6

Tim Legler: Nets in 5

Tim MacMahon: Nets in 5

Bobby Marks: Nets in 4

Dave McMenamin: Nets in 5

Monica McNutt: Nets in 5

Kevin Pelton: Nets in 5

Jorge Sedano: Nets in 5

Ramona Shelburne: Nets in 4

André Snellings: Nets in 5

Marc J. Spears: Nets in 6

Royce Young: Nets in 5

Ohm Youngmisuk: Nets in 6


Final tally: Nets (16).

Jerry Bembry: Heat in 6

Nick DePaula: Heat in 6

Nick Friedell: Bucks in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Bucks in 7

Tim Legler: Heat in 7

Tim MacMahon: Bucks in 7

Bobby Marks: Bucks in 6

Dave McMenamin: Bucks in 7

Monica McNutt: Bucks in 7

Kevin Pelton: Bucks in 7

Jorge Sedano: Heat in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Bucks in 7

André Snellings: Bucks in 6

Marc J. Spears: Bucks in 7

Royce Young: Bucks in 6

Ohm Youngmisuk: Bucks in 7


Final tally: Bucks (12), Heat (4).

Jerry Bembry: Knicks in 6

Nick DePaula: Knicks in 6

Nick Friedell: Knicks in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Knicks in 6

Tim Legler: Knicks in 6

Tim MacMahon: Knicks in 6

Bobby Marks: Knicks in 7

Dave McMenamin: Knicks in 6

Monica McNutt: Knicks in 6

Kevin Pelton: Knicks in 7

Jorge Sedano: Knicks in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Knicks in 5

André Snellings: Hawks in 6

Marc J. Spears: Knicks in 6

Royce Young: Hawks in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Knicks in 7


Final tally: Knicks (14), Hawks (2).

Western Conference: Round 1

Jerry Bembry: Nuggets in 7

Nick DePaula: Blazers in 7

Nick Friedell: Nuggets in 7

Kirk Goldsberry: Nuggets in 7

Tim Legler: Blazers in 7

Tim MacMahon: Nuggets in 6

Bobby Marks: Nuggets in 7

Dave McMenamin: Nuggets in 6

Monica McNutt: Blazers in 7

Kevin Pelton: Blazers in 6

Jorge Sedano: Blazers in 7

Ramona Shelburne: Nuggets in 7

André Snellings: Blazers in 7

Marc J. Spears: Blazers in 7

Royce Young: Blazers in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Nuggets in 7


Final tally: Blazers (8), Nuggets (8).

Jerry Bembry: Clippers in 6

Nick DePaula: Clippers in 6

Nick Friedell: Clippers in 6

Kirk Goldsberry: Clippers in 7

Tim Legler: Clippers in 6

Tim MacMahon: Clippers in 7

Bobby Marks: Clippers in 6

Dave McMenamin: Clippers in 5

Monica McNutt: Clippers in 6

Kevin Pelton: Clippers in 6

Jorge Sedano: Clippers in 6

Ramona Shelburne: Clippers in 5

André Snellings: Clippers in 5

Marc J. Spears: Clippers in 6

Royce Young: Mavericks in 7

Ohm Youngmisuk: Clippers in 6


Final tally: Clippers (15), Mavericks (1).


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