How might the NBA's play-in (Game 1: 2:30 ET Saturday, ABC) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference play out?
The Portland Trail Blazers secured a spot in the play-in Thursday night when they escaped a bid by the Brooklyn Nets to knock them out and give the 8-0 Phoenix Suns a shot to extend their unbeaten run in the bubble. Instead, it will be Portland against the Memphis Grizzlies, with the Blazers entering in the favorable position of the eighth seed.
While this year's play-in was a response to a regular season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some precedent for the format. Let's see what we can learn from that and projections of the two teams based on the multiyear version of ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM).
Here's what to expect this weekend, and why Memphis has a chance.