NBA might keep play-in format for last playoff berths
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The NBA might keep its play-in format to determine the final seeds come postseason, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski detailed that the league has considered having a play-in tournament to give the 9th and 10th seeds of a conference a chance to make the playoffs.
The play-in tournament proposal has coalesced around the structure ESPN first reported was gaining traction in early 2018: a four-team tournament among the Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10 seeds for the final two playoff spots in each conference. https://t.co/TDQIuQONvF
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 3, 2020
The league first experimented with this format during the bubble restart. The 8th-positioned Portland Trail Blazers faced off against the 9th-ranked Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference.
The Blazers, behind Damian Lillard, Carmelo Anthony, and CJ McCollum, advanced to the playoffs formally and faced the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, eventual winners of the NBA title.
In the proposed format, the 7th and 8th-placed teams will have a “twice-to-beat” advantage against the 9th and 10th-placed squads, meaning the lower-ranked teams will have to beat the higher-ranked teams two times in succession without losing to be able to advance to the post-season.
It’s a change that may be welcomed soon in the league, especially with contending teams sometimes missing out on the post-season due to a tough conference.
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