The NBA and its gamers’ union have agreed to maintain the league’s playoff play-in match for a minimum of yet one more season, based on ESPN, regardless of loud criticism of the format from a number of the league’s prime gamers.
The match options the groups in every convention with the seventh by means of tenth greatest data within the season competing for the ultimate two playoff spots, in distinction to the earlier format, the place the highest eight groups from every convention certified on to the playoffs.
The play-in match was included in the course of the present NBA season because the common season schedule was shortened from 82 video games to 72 video games per staff, however the league can be again to its regular schedule subsequent season.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has repeatedly stated he’d just like the match to change into a everlasting function, and it was additionally well-received by followers — the play-in video games had excessive TV scores.
The choice to maintain the match will finally want the approval of the NBA Board of Governors at its August assembly, with an approval vote thought of all however a formality, based on ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers-Golden State Warriors play-in recreation on Could 19 had 5.62 million viewers on ESPN, on the time making it the most-watched NBA recreation on the community since 2019.
Lakers star LeBron James blasted the match earlier than its begin this season, telling reporters, “whoever got here up with that s—- must be fired” following an everyday season loss in Could. Veteran Warriors ahead Draymond Inexperienced additionally stated towards the tip of the season that, “no play-in recreation goes to encourage me at this level of my profession.”
The match’s format includes the No. 7 staff taking part in the No. 8 staff, with the winner clinching the No. 7 seed within the playoffs. One other recreation between the No. 9 and No. 10 groups is a single-elimination knockout, with the loser eradicated and the winner occurring to face the loser of the sport between No. 7 and No. 8. The winner of that recreation clinches the No. 8 seed within the playoffs. Many followers and NBA commentators imagine the brand new match will make the NBA season extra aggressive, since opening up extra spots for lower-performing groups that in any other case would not have a shot on the playoffs may discourage “tanking”—dropping video games on goal or placing in a low effort to make sure the staff has a excessive draft choose. The identical proponents additionally argue it’s going to incentivize prime groups to maintain performing, since ending within the prime six is critical to robotically clinch a spot within the playoffs.
LeBron James Slams NBA’s New Play-In Event (Forbes)