NBA play-in tournament final round preview: Wins expected for Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers

After the first play-in round saw the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves claim seventh seed in their respective conferences, two more blockbuster clashes await in the final round.

With the seventh seed for each conference now wrapped up, and both the Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs heading home, we're inching closer to the start of the play-off season.

However first, we have two more games left to decide the 8th seed in both conferences, with two crucial clashes bound to result in drama.

Here, Planet Sport previews both upcoming matches and predicts who will come out on top.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks

Trae Young

The Hawks absolutely destroyed the Hornets on Wednesday night, receiving a well-balanced scoring effort from all of their starters and a few key reserves.

Trae Young led the way with 24 points and 11 assists, though he struggled a bit shooting the ball, going just 8-of-24 from the field. However, he made up for that by getting to the free-throw line and serving as a primary playmaker for his teammates.

Clint Capela was active inside the paint, as he hauled in 17 rebounds and blocked three shots to go along with 15 points.

The Cavaliers struggled mightily in the first quarter of their loss against the Nets, allowing 40 points while scoring just 20 of their own. However, they showed no quit, outscoring Brooklyn in every other quarter - unfortunately for them, though, it wasn't enough to overcome such a big early deficit.

Darius Garland shined in the biggest game of his young career, going off for 34 points on 13-of-24 shooting. Evan Mobley also provided 19 points and seven rebounds.

This matchup could go either way, as both teams have plenty of capable shooters surrounding their star point guards.

Jarrett Allen could potentially return, which will give the Cavs some much-needed rim protection and interior scoring.

However, the Hawks have the edge in experience after being an Eastern Conference finalist one year ago. Expect them to get it done despite being the road team.

Los Angeles Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Clippers, NBA

The Clippers played as good of a game as they could against the Timberwolves, shutting Karl-Anthony Towns down. However, the grit of Anthony Edwards, D'Angelo Russell, and Patrick Beverley proved to be enough to carry the Wolves over a Clippers team that got 34 points from Paul George.

Meanwhile, the Pelicans were able to get by the Spurs with CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Jonas Valanciunas all putting up high-scoring totals. That said, it came against a team with virtually no chance to do any damage this postseason.

LA has capable scorers in Norman Powell and Reggie Jackson, but neither are the most-reliable second or even third option.

But with the defensive grit Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum, Robert Covington, and Terance Mann bring to the table, perhaps the Clips can take McCollum, Ingram, and Valanciunas off their game. Much like they did to Towns on Tuesday night.

Expect the Clippers to take care of business with ease.

READ MORE: How can Karl-Anthony Towns bounce back from his play-in disappointment?

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