NBA predictions: Key games, playoff races and title contenders in the restart

Woj: Zion's return to the bubble 'significant' for Pelicans (1:19)

Adrian Wojnarowski says that Zion Williamson's return to the NBA bubble has a great deal of impact on the Pelicans, whose playoff hopes are on the line in the first eight games of the season restart. (1:19)

What are our new NBA projections ahead of Thursday's restart? And which games will matter most?

With scrimmage games done, I've updated our predictions for player rotations, the eight seeding games, the play-in tournaments and the NBA postseason.

These new projections are based on simulating the rest of the season 1,000 times using the multiyear version of ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM) to rate players.

Let's break down the results and take a look at the importance of some key matchups.