NBA Play-In Tournament Predictions: Red-hot Lakers, Sixers punch their tickets

With the start of the NBA Play-In Tournament on the horizon, we predict the four teams that will qualify for the official playoff field.
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers
Detroit Pistons v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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(7) New Orleans Pelicans vs. Sacramento Kings (9)

After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in their first NBA Play-In Tournament game, the New Orleans Pelicans will get one more shot to punch their ticket to the official NBA Playoff field. Similarly, after dethroning the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento Kings will get the same shot. This is an intriguing contest between two teams that are on the rise in the Western Conference. Both teams' futures could be impacted by how this Play-In Tournament game, if it comes to fruition, plays out.

Interestingly enough, the Pelicans went a perfect 4-0 against the Kings this season. This is a matchup that clearly gives them fits. But something tells me the Kings will pull through in this matchup. For as good of a season as the Pelicans had, finishing outside of the final playoff field will be a tough pill to swallow for the franchise, but you have to give the Western Conference its props.

This conference is clearly improved from last season and that is very much evident. The Kings punch the final ticket in the Western Conference playoff field.

Prediction: Sacramento Kings

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