The 8th seed in both the conferences might eventually be decided by play-in tournament. Find out more about NBA’s latest rule here.
The NBA regular season is nearing its end and with only 22 teams playing the seeding games in the bubble, the league has announced a play-in tournament to determine the eight seed in each conferences.
The East looks sorted with no play-in games required at this point with the Magic holding a 7.5 game advantage over the Wizards. The Western conference on the other hand will surely have a play-in with the Grizzlies, Blazers, Spurs, Suns and Pelicans in contention to bag the eight spot.
What is NBA Play in tournament?
A play in tournament has been conceptualised to prevent just a few wins determine the 8th spot in the conference. The cutoff has been set at 4. Now, if the 8th seeded team is 4 games ahead of the 9th seeded team(after the seeding games are done with), no play-in tournament will take place.
However, if the 8th seed and 9th seed have a difference of 4 or less games between them, a play in tournament will take place between the two teams.
Sources: Joining the 16 current playoff teams in Orlando: New Orleans, Portland, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Antonio in the West and Washington in the East. If the 9th seed is more than 4 games behind the 8th, No. 8 makes playoffs; Fewer than 4 games, a play-in tournament.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 3, 2020
The tournament will comprise of 2 head-to-head games between the 8th and the 9th seed. The 9th seed will have to beat the 8th seed in both those games in order to clinch that final playoff spot.
So, if the 8th seed wins even 1 of the 2 games, it gets to keep its 8th spot and will cruise into the playoffs.
The play in tournament would provide a playoff flavour to the viewers before the actual NBA Playoffs begin on the 17th of August in the Orlando Bubble.