Photo: NBA

The 2022 Play-in tournament and Postseason are finally here.

We know what Dillon Brooks & Steven Adams/Memphis bench will bring this postseason, Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., & Desmond Bane need to play well

The Memphis Grizzlies completed a very successful regular season (#2 seed in the West) and now it’s time to translate that to the playoffs. Starting veterans Dillon Brooks & Steven Adams bring a lot of the toughness Memphis will need in playoff battles, and the Grizzlies bench has plenty of energetic players as well. However, remaining starters Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., & Desmond Bane have little playoff experience. All eyes will be on Morant, Jackson Jr., Bane, & 37-year-old head coach Taylor Jenkins to see if they’re ready to keep this incredible season going.

Raptors starting group shot the ball efficiently this season, that shooting, length on defense, and crowd atmosphere should be tough in the playoffs

Toronto can definitely cause some problems for Philly in their upcoming playoff series. Fred VanVleet (37.7% 3-PT), Pascal Siakam (49.4% FG), Scottie Barnes (49.2 % FG), Gary Trent Jr. (38.3% 3-PT), & OG Anunoby (36.3% 3-PT) all shot the ball with efficiency this year. And that’s a great sign because we already know how long this club is on defense. Plus you can’t forget about the Raptors’ home crowd at Scotiabank Arena either, that atmosphere is one of the most electric arenas in the NBA come playoff time.

Miami entering the 2022 postseason with another uncertain starting guard position

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra started Kendrick Nunn in the first two playoff games vs. Milwaukee last season. After going down 0-2, Spoelstra made a change to his starting lineup by inserting Goran Dragic for Nunn, as the change ultimately wouldn’t matter and Miami ended up getting swept by the 2021 champs. Fast forward to the 2022 playoffs, and the Heat are facing a similar lineup issue, this time with their starting shooting guard position. New starting point guard Kyle Lowry had Duncan Robinson as his backcourt partner to begin the season, but Robinson only shot 39.9% from the field this year and Spoelstra recently ended up moving Max Strus into the starting lineup.

Pressure will be on Ben Simmons defensively if he returns for Brooklyn

Due to their poor defense, the Nets now have to go through the play-in tournament to make the 2022 postseason. This team’s offense is without a doubt, a high powered one, headlined by Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving and a bunch of scorers. But defensively, Brooklyn depends way too much on Bruce Brown to do everything and that’s something Ben Simmons has to keep in mind if he comes back for the playoffs. It’s not like Simmons is going to ease right in. Every game, the Nets look around at each other and hope someone else defends. Throwing Simmons out there creates a lot of pressure on the former Sixer to defend with such intensity/physicality after not playing the entire season.