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Assuming that the 9th seed and 10th seed in the tight Eastern Conference face-off with each other in the Play-In tournament, who would come on top?

The Play-In scheme was first introduced in the 2019-2020 NBA Playoffs. This was created by the league to create more intriguing and competitive playoffs for the lower seeded teams. Rather than them having to tank, the 9th and 10th seed now has a chance to play in the playoffs.

  • Whoever wins this game (9th seed vs 10th seed) will battle the winner of the 7th vs 8th seed game to secure the final 8th spot.
  • The Brooklyn Nets are currently 9th in the East (32-33), while the Hawks are now in 10th (31-32).

Just last year, the Atlanta Hawks made an impressive playoff run.

They went head-to-head with the eventual champs, the Milwaukee Bucks, in the Eastern Conference finals. They played great basketball in this duration but lost to the Bucks in 6 games (4-2).

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Statistically, the Brooklyn Nets are a far better team than the Atlanta Hawks.

For starters, two Nets players are averaging more than 20 points a night – Kevin Durant (29.5 PPG) and Kyrie Irving (24.7 PPG). The only Hawks player averaging more than 20 a game is Trae Young (28 PPG).

Also, they have a deeper roster. Seth Curry (15.1 PPG), Patty Mills (12.6 PPG), LaMarcus Aldrige (13.5 PPG), and Cam Thomas (10 PPG). Topped with the veteran presence of Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond, the Nets are a scary opponent. Take note that Ben Simmons isn’t even playing yet!

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Brooklyn was the top team in the East before Kevin Durant’s injury. When KD was out, the Nets’ record went downhill. But now that Durant is back, the Nets will push for another deep playoff run.

Atlanta Hawks, on the other hand, is also a good team.

They are young, talented, and are hungry for a championship. The Hawks is a team-oriented club that is spearheaded by the All-Star guard Trae Young. Seven (7) Hawks players are averaging double digits per game.

They are both equally great in the offense as well as in the defensive end. Clint Capela and John Collins’ presence was outstanding during last year’s Eastern Conference finals which caused a problem for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Capela is a terrific rebounder and rim defender, while Collins is an extremely athletic and agile forward.

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On paper, there is no way that the Atlanta Hawks can beat the Brooklyn Nets (when healthy and complete).

In their previous two outings, the Brooklyn Nets won both games against the Hawks. They will face once again on April 2.

But, the ball is still round. The Hawks could win this game mainly because of the following:

  • Since the Nets will host the Hawks at home (Brooklyn, New York), Kyrie will not be able to play this game due to health protocols by the city.
  • Ben Simmons isn’t ready to play for the Nets yet.
  • Kevin Durant just came back from injury (though he is still playing like a superstar)
  • Joe Harris is also out for the rest of the season due to ankle injuries
  • The Hawks are a more efficient team on the offensive end
  • Atlanta also has a better frontcourt than the Nets
  • If Trae Young goes crazy again, just like what he did to the Knicks and the Sixers last year, they have the chance to win this one game.

Again, this is just a prediction of a possible play-in matchup. There are a lot of things that could change in one month, but until then, the Nets look like the probable victor in this one.

OTHER NEWS: NBA 2022 Play-In Predictions: Lakers vs Pelicans

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John Micheal (sometimes called JM or Mike) has been writing various types of professional articles for almost 2 years now. He is an avid sports fan and has been following the NBA since the early 2000s. He also loves playing a lot of video games like DotA 2, Valorant, but MMOs have a special place in JM's heart. Not only is he a huge fan of basketball and video games, he also loves movies and tv shows. He is a huge MARVEL and MCU fan plus he is into a lot of superhero stuff.