NBA Western Conference Play-In Tournament: Team Health Rankings

Apr 5, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) dribbles
Apr 5, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) dribbles / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

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San Antonio Spurs (#10 Seed) - Team Health Score 91.2 

Despite entering the play-in as the 10th seed, San Antonio is the healthiest team in the tournament. The only key health question is to star point guard Dejounte Murray. He missed five games in the last two weeks with a non-COVID illness, but returned to play 32 minutes in the final game of the regular season. His conditioning will be a question with potentially two games in a short window and he will be relied on heavily. The ProBasketballDocs believe Murray shouldn’t be affected much by the short absence, thus the high team score for the Spurs. The Pelicans/Spurs matchup is set to take place Wednesday night.

Minnesota Timberwolves (#7 Seed) - Team Health Score 88.9

Star shooting guard D’Angelo Russell suffered a hamstring strain in March and had some lingering soreness in the final month. He should play his full minutes and show no ill effects. Elite defender Patrick Beverley also managed a right ankle sprain late in the season, but will be fully available for Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards have been fully healthy for a majority of the season and have the hopes of a deep playoff run on their shoulders. The Timberwolves play the Clippers in the 7th vs. 8th place game Tuesday night.

Los Angeles Clippers (#8 Seed) - Team Health Score 85.6 

With the recent returns of Paul George and Norman Powell, the Clippers team health score has received a boost. However, they are still without star small forward Kawhi Leonard and that’s likely to be the case no matter how deep they make it. Leonard has yet to resume basketball activity after the ACL repair in his right knee last June. Still, head coach Tyronn Lue has managed his bench minutes well and helped prepare Terrance Mann for a bigger role. The Clippers matchup against a healthier #7 seed Minnesota Timberwolves team.

New Orleans Pelicans (#9 Seed) - Team Health Score 83.1 

The Pelicans enter the play-in tournament with injuries to two key young stars. Zion Williamson is the biggest loss, both in stature and importance to the team. He hasn’t played this season and his foot fracture has healed slower than the team expected. The focus for him is to get down to a healthy playing weight. Brandon Ingram missed two games after a right hamstring strain in early March, but has returned to full minutes in April. The Pelicans matchup against the healthiest team in the play-in tournament, the #10 seed San Antonio Spurs.

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