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the Hawks and the Pelicans qualified for the play-offs, we know all the posters

The Hawks and the Pelicans, winners of their decisive play-offs at the Cavs and the Clippers, qualified for the NBA play-offs on Friday. All the posters are now known for this last straight line.

All that remained was to play the play-offs to know all the matches of the future NBA play-offs, which begin this Saturday (7 p.m. French time). And it was the Hawks and Pelicans, winning their decisive games at the Cavs and Clippers, who secured the last tickets to the main draw on Friday. They will play the first round respectively against the Heat and the Suns, in the skin of outsiders.

Uppercase Trae Young

Finalist in the Eastern Conference last year, stopped by the future champion Milwaukee, Atlanta won in Cleveland (107-101), thanks to a capital performance from Trae Young, author of 38 points (9 assists). Sleeping, even lost during the first act (6 pts, 3/11 on shots), he woke up suddenly in the last two quarters (32 pts, 10/14). “I felt like I was letting my team down. I missed a few shots, but I knew I had to insist on helping my teammates. I know what my job is, the confidence that is mine,” he commented.

Untenable, the leader of 1.85 m straddled his moped, slalomed in the middle of the traffic and had fun putting his “teardrops” (lobed baskets with one hand), above the giants opposite. And he found the target, far behind the arc (4/7), even marking the Cavs logo in midfield, not without depriving himself of a shoulder dance to kindly chamber. Until then, Cavs fans were white-hot, however, as their favorite team led three-quarters of the game, counting up to 14 units ahead before the break.

Miami awaits Atlanta

Everything was going well, in the wake of Finnish winger Lauri Markkanen (26 pts, 8 rebounds) and leader Darius Garland (21 pts, 9 assists), especially as pivot Jarrett Allen (11 pts) returned after having missed 18 matches. Cleveland even thought it was going to be a quieter evening, when Hawks insider Clint Capela had to leave the game after hyper-extending his right knee, fouling Evan Mobley (18 pts, 8 rebounds) who is landed on his leg.

This twist of fate actually gave Atlanta some extra soul. “We were more motivated. We wanted to win for him. We know how hard he worked to make the play-offs. We hope he will be able to recover quickly,” said Young, supported by Bogdan Bogdanovic (19 pts) and Danilo Gallinari (14 pts). Facing Miami, finalist in 2020, and its very close-knit and complete team around Jimmy Butler, the task will be tough for the Hawks, who will not start as favorites.

Decisive Ingram

The Pelicans, who won in the snatch in Los Angeles (105-101), will not be more against Phoenix, finalist last year. The Suns flew over the regular season leaving no weak point betrayed, in the wake of Devin Booker and Chris Paul. New Orleans deserved this opportunity, rewarding a group deprived all season of its young star Zion Williamson, but who knew how to remain mobilized around Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum.

In a crazy match where the Pelicans led by 16 units before the break, before suffering the lightning of the Clippers in the 3rd quarter (38-18), to finally regain a definitive advantage in the money-time (31-17 ), this duo was decisive. Ingram, despite the sticky Nicolas Batum (2 pts, 10 rebounds, 2 interceptions), responsible for defending him, finished with 30 points (6 assists). “I did everything necessary for us to win. I knew what was at stake, we all wanted to participate in the play-offs. I really wanted it, ”he reacted.

McCollum was limited to 19 points, but his baskets put his team back in place in the final minutes. On the Clippers side, the absence of Paul George, who tested positive for Covid-19 a few hours earlier, will have weighed too much, despite Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson, 27 points each.

Corentin Parbaud RMC Sport journalist

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