If you can sneak in a mid-day nap today, you might want to go for that. The NBA’s Play-In Tournament continues tonight after the Pacers and the Celtics picked up wins in the Eastern Conference games last night. Tonight, however, we get a Marquette theme to the late game after the Spurs and the Grizzlies square off to decide who advances to the #8 seed game on Friday.
The late game tonight is the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Golden State Warriors with the #7 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs on the line. From a Marquette perspective, there is no clear rooting interest.
Wesley Matthews plays for the Lakers, and he’s had one of the quieter years of his NBA career. He has only played in 58 of LA’s 72 games, but he has started 10 times. Matthews is averaging 4.8 points, 1.6 rebounds, and just under an assist per game while averaging about 19 minutes per game and shooting 33.5% from long range. By record, the Lakers are the seventh best team in the West this season, which is why they’re hosting this game at Staples Center.
On the other end of the court is Golden State and Juan Toscano-Anderson. The Oakland native was on a two-way contract with the Warriors for most of the season, but thanks to the NBA altering the rules of two-way contracts this year, he has played in 53 of the Warriors’ games and has started 16 times. JTA isn’t bowling you over with stats, averaging 5.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assist per game, but when you have Steph Curry on your team, all you have to do is the little things, and Toscano-Anderson excels at that for this Golden State squad. That’s why head coach Steve Kerr is giving him nearly 21 minutes of playing time a night and the fact that JTA is shooting 40% from behind the three-point line doesn’t hurt, either.
The winner of this game will get the #7 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. The loser of this game is sent along to the #8 seed game on Friday against the winner of the 9/10 game between the Spurs and the Grizzlies.
2021 NBA Playoffs Play-In Tournament
#7 Seed Game
#7 Los Angeles Lakers vs #8 Golden State Warriors
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Time: 9pm Central
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California