How is the newly introduced NBA Play in tournament going to play out and is the tournament a seven game series?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made it clear on several occasions that he would like to ‘spice’ things up in the regular season. The NBA regular season is usually quite a drag when coming down to the final month of games, with little to no major Playoff picture implications at stake. However, with this new play in tournament format, the league has seen some of its most exciting games to date.
Last night was without a doubt the wildest night of the entirety of the 2020-21 NBA season and it was all due to the play in tournament. The Portland TrailBlazers solidified their place as a top 6 seed while the Lakers fell into the play in, Steph Curry and the Warriors claimed the 8th seed and pushed Memphis to the 9th, and the Celtics claimed the 7th seed, setting themselves up for a date with Russ and the Wizards; just to name a few instances.
The Western Conference play-in is officially set 👀 pic.twitter.com/7plNzZAg0K
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2021
With the being a new addition to the Playoff picture, the rules could get convoluted at times, which is why the play in rules for the upcoming matchups in both conferences are explained below.
Is the NBA play in tournament a 7 game series?
- Teams in each conference seeded from 1-6 will automatically be considered as Playoff locks. However, teams that have seeds from 7-10 will enter a short tournament the NBA has named, the play in tournament.
- The 7th and 8th seeded teams in each conference will duke it out. The winner of this game will be granted a spot in the Playoffs as the 7th seed. The loser of this game, will be given a second chance at claiming a spot in the Playoffs.
- This chance comes against the winner of the game between the 9th and 10th seeded game. The winner of this game will then face off against the loser of the 7th-8th seeded game.
- Whichever team wins this 3rd game, will be granted the 8th seed in the NBA Playoffs for their respective conference.
For the few that are wondering whether or not the play in tournament is a 7-game series between each matchup; it is not.
The games are stylized to be ‘win or go home’ games, looking to replicate a Game 7 type atmosphere that college basketball usually tends to indulge in in the NCAA tournament.