NBA expected to make play-in tournament permanent

Posted: 12/07/2022 in NBA
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The NBA Board of Governors approved the league’s play-in tournament as a permanent change to the schedule moving forward on Tuesday.

The tournament was voted on a year-to-year basis during its first two years of implementation.

Starting in 2021, the play-in allowed teams seeded No. 7 through No. 10 to square off in a mini-tournament for each conference’s final two spots in the eight-team playoff brackets.

Teams ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the regular season play each other for the 7-seed, while teams No. 9 and No. 10 play a single-elimination contest. The winner of the second game faces the loser of the first game for the 8-seed.

In the two seasons since its integration, teams in the No. 7 seed are a perfect 4-0, while only one of the four No. 8 seeds has advanced to the postseason. Teams slotted No. 9 have found success – with three squads advancing to the playoffs – while a No. 10 seed has never made it past the play-in stage.

The league originally had a different play-in tournament set in 2020 due to the COVID-19 bubble format, which saw the No. 8 and No. 9 teams square off for the final postseason spots, but only if the clubs were within four games of each other in the standings.

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