The NBA Is Proposing A “Play In” Tournament To Determine The Last Two Playoff Spots


As the NBA ponders altering the current format of the playoffs, ESPN‘s Zach Lowereports that there is also a discussion about implementing a play-in tournament to determine the final two seeds in each conference.

According to Lowe, “two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office”:

The play-in proposal that has generated the most discussion, according to several sources: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game nabbing the seventh spot, sources say. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.


I’m one of the few people not advocating for the NBA to change to the 1-16 format. Nothing would actually change for the first round matchups, except crazy travel schedules. To top it off, you could have Boston / Golden State in the second round. You really want good teams like them out early? Eh. Now, the NBA wants a play in tourney for the last two spots? Once again, eh. It looks like the NBA is just plagiarizing the NCAA Tournament, and trying to mix it up for NBA twitter. Honestly, the West has been looked at as this monster conference with 8 title contenders when really there is only two, just like the East. If it happens, it’s not like the NBA would be a completely different game. But, i’m not looking at this move thinking it’s going to take the game ahead of football.

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