The NBA Playoffs are here - how the play-in tournament is shaping up. Plus, the WNBA already looks different.

NBA Play-in Tournament raises the stakes ahead of playoffs

The NBA Playoffs are getting started, and we’ve all been so distracted with college basketball, so let’s catch up.

The top seeds, from first to sixth, in both conferences are set by the regular season. But seeds seven to ten compete in a play-in tournament to determine who takes the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds in the official playoff bracket.

In that tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans Pelicans to claim the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

The Sacramento Kings sent the Golden State Warriors packing in a revenge game that could mark the end of the Warriors’ dynasty. But it’s a longer road for the No. 10-seeded Kings, who also need to defeat the No. 7-seeded Pelicans in order to take the No. 8 seed in Western Conference. The Pelicans announced on Tuesday that star Zion Williamson will not play Friday due to a strained calf. Can the Kings pull off another goliath-type win?

In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Miami Heat to claim the No. 7 seed. The Miami Heat will now face the Chicago Bulls for the No. 8 seed.

Playoffs aside, it’s been a busy week for professional basketball as the Team USA roster was announced for the 2024 Summer Olympics. It includes both Steph Curry and LeBron James. After 14 seasons in the NBA, former No. 1 draft pick and six-time All-Star Blake Griffin announced his retirement. And if that wasn’t enough basketball news for you, the NBA issued a lifetime ban to former Mizzou player Jontay Porter for gambling offenses.

Were you one of the 2.446 million people who watched Caitlin Clark get selected No. 1 overall in the WNBA Draft on Monday?

The Indiana Fever selected Iowa’s Caitlin Clark with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft. Clark joins standout Aaliyah Boston on the Fever, helping the WNBA to shatter previous viewership records for the draft. And if you’re hoping to get a #22 Fever jersey, the odds are not in your favor, as Clark’s jersey is a top seller already.

Also among the star-studded draft class, LSU’s Angel Reese and South Carolina’s Kamilla Cardoso will no longer be enemies on the court. The two women who have played against each other since they were in high school were both drafted by the Chicago Sky.

More news from the draft…WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says she is confident the 12-team league will expand to 16 teams by 2028. The 13th team will be owned and operated by the Golden State Warriors, and the league is aiming for a 14th team by 2026. Markets Engelbert mentioned include Philadelphia, Toronto, Portland, Denver, and Nashville.

A quick recap of a busy weekend & early week across sports:

Read the last edition of The Scorecard here.