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#pounditWednesday, April 14, 2021

Details of NBA’s proposed playoff format, play-in tournament revealed

Adam Silver

The NBA is inching closer to finalizing a plan for the resumption of the 2019-20 season.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver will hold a conference call with the league’s Board of Governors on Thursday in which a 22-team return will be proposed, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The plan is to hold games at Disney World in Orlando and bring the 16 teams currently in playoff spots and six additional teams. A play-in tournament will then be held for the eighth seed in each conference depending upon the final regular season standings.

Charania reports that the eighth and ninth seed in each conference will enter a play-in tournament if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind the eighth seed at the conclusion of the regular season. If the eighth seed finishes with a lead of more than four games over the ninth seed, the eighth seed will earn the postseason spot.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that each team will play eight more regular season games in Orlando.

Play was suspended in the NBA with several games remaining in the regular season, so the 22-team model gives teams outside the top eight in each conference a chance to compete for a playoff spot. There had been concern that including all 30 teams would result in some players having to compete in meaningless games, which is something Michael Jordan is opposed to. However, certain small-market teams are reportedly worried about the negative economic impact to their franchises if they are left out of the resumption altogether.

A target date for the resumption of the season has been set, and it appears there is a good chance a format will be agreed upon by the end of the week.


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