The NBA play-in game tournament has been brought about by the NBA to spice up the 8th seed race and we now have Blazers and Grizzlies finalised for it.
The Play-in tournament race turned out to be a brilliant one, with 6 teams initially competing for that final playoff spot in the West. Finally the Blazers and Grizzlies go into the play-in game, with Blazers securing the 8th seed and Grizzlies having to settle for the 9th seed.
Going into the final day of seeding games for the involved teams in the West, 4 teams were in contention to make it to the play-in tournament. Spurs lost their game and were knocked out, with Grizzlies winning against a ‘Giannis-less’ Bucks to ensure a spot in the play-in tournament.
Devin Booker’s Suns too won their respective game vs Mavericks to ultimately peg it all on the Blazers vs Nets game to determine who between them and the Blazers would make it.
For the Blazers, the equation was simple; a win would take them to 8th seed and give them an upper hand in the play-in tournament; a loss would send them home.
Blazers vs. Grizzlies
The Western Conference Play-In is set 🔥 pic.twitter.com/7y7sfdcyby
— ESPN (@espn) August 14, 2020
And Lillard delivered the goods when it mattered, taking the Blazers upto the 8th seed and into that play-in tournament to determine the final playoff spot in the West.
When does the play-in game between Blazers and Grizzlies take place?
The 1st play-in game will take place on Saturday, August 15th. Coverage for it will begin at 2:30pm ET.
Second play-in game will happen on Sunday, if required. Now, why is that?
NBA Play-in game rules
According to the NBA play-in game rules, the 9th seed will have to beat the 8th seed in two consecutive head-to-head games in order to make it to the playoffs. Thus, if the Blazers(who are the 8th seed) beat the Grizzlies in the first game on Saturday, they would have made it to the playoffs and the 2nd play in game wouldn’t be needed.
However, if Grizzlies win the 1st game on Saturday, a 2nd game on Sunday will have to be played in order to determine who goes into the playoffs.
It is an interesting concept and should attract a lot of viewership and interest ahead of the playoffs. The winner would face the Lakers in round 1 of the playoffs.