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Bleacher Report releases NBA in-season tournament predictions

Mar 24, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) holds his hand after a play during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The upcoming 2023–2024 NBA season promises to be truly unprecedented, marked by the league’s inaugural in-season tournament—a bold initiative set to redefine the regular season.

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For the tournament, the NBA has divided its teams into six groups—three in each conference. The Phoenix Suns have landed in West Group A, joining other strong teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers.

Adding to the anticipation, Bleacher Report has now unveiled its predictions for how the Phoenix Suns will fare in the tournament.

According to Bleacher Report’s analysis, the Suns are expected to cruise through pool play and advance to the knockout stage.

As for their reasoning:

“Even though Memphis is the unofficial No. 1 seed in Group A, Ja Morant will still be serving a 25-game suspension, thus wiping out any chance he’ll be playing in November. The Grizzlies will still be trying to integrate Marcus Smart into their system instead.”

“LeBron James hasn’t taken the regular season seriously since he was in Miami, while Utah and Portland will almost certainly be lottery teams in 2023-24.”

“This leaves the Suns, who should be hungry to prove this new core with Bradley Beal is championship-worthy and look to get some early playoff-style reps while they can.”

BR also has the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, and New Orleans Pelicans escaping pool play in the Western Conference.

However, according to B/R this is where the Suns run in the tournament will come to an end, as they have Phoenix falling to the Kings in the quarterfinals.

“The Suns could still be figuring out each other’s names at this point after so much offseason roster turnover, while the Kings will run back the same starting five and most of their key bench pieces.”

In the final picture, the Kings are projected to lose to the Boston Celtics in the tournament finals.

Do you agree with these predictions?

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