10SC-2-TOKYO

NBA Play-In Tournament: What it is & Why it is

Recommended Posts

I think I understand the black and white about how it’s supposed to work but I’m not too clear on WHY this play-in exists nor who it is intended to help/ hinder.

The whole ‘anybody can get it in one game - one night’ has been a staple in collegiate basketball.

Win or go home.

In the NBA, a best of 7 playoff format and home court advantage set the stage for some must see post season games.

Coaches made adjustments and superstars went supernova. Occasionally we had who really cares games but more often than not we witnessed some great battles.

Why was the play-in invented ? 

There were quite a few rule changes / game adjustments introduced to keep players safe during the initial onset of the COVID 19 global pandemic…but  how does a play-in apply here?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the league is probably trying to capture some of that true ncaa tournament feel before the drama of the 10 day first round starts..

I like it but it probably needs a little refining. 
 

I liked the old school best of 5 opening sets. in those, the higher seed had to be ready from the jump. in a 7 game set, the cream is pretty secure in rising. 
 

slim. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, 10SC-2-TOKYO said:

I think I understand the black and white about how it’s supposed to work but I’m not too clear on WHY this play-in exists nor who it is intended to help/ hinder.

The whole ‘anybody can get it in one game - one night’ has been a staple in collegiate basketball.

Win or go home.

In the NBA, a best of 7 playoff format and home court advantage set the stage for some must see post season games.

Coaches made adjustments and superstars went supernova. Occasionally we had who really cares games but more often than not we witnessed some great battles.

Why was the play-in invented ? 

There were quite a few rule changes / game adjustments introduced to keep players safe during the initial onset of the COVID 19 global pandemic… how does a play-in apply here?

 

 

Simple answer to make more money for the NBA.

Play in benefits:

1 More fan bases involved longer =more money.

2 Less tanking more competitive games at the seasons end.

3 Play in games extravaganza = more money.

In Europe is very easy to understand. Let's take English Premier League (or any other League). So there is 20 teams.

The most important trophy is Champions League Top football Euro competition.

Then is English Premier League.

Then is FA Cup.

Then League Cup (less important)

Then you fight for top 4 to qualify for Champions League....if you 5th you are really mad.

The most important last 3 teams are relegated ...supporters of last 3 teams  cry like babies.

16th place celebrated as much or even more than a Championship.

In the US sports leagues are different....Silver looking at Euro Football leagues and trying to copy some new things in the NBA.

For US supporter it looks alien strange and unnecessary because they used to different model and ppl don't usually like change.

Saying all that , answer to your question    Why was the play-in invented ? like all things invented...to make more money.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best benefit of the play-in game is it makes the regular season games near the end of the season much more interesting than before.  The difference between 6 and 7 seed is huge now, so teams who might be coasting and resting players heading into the playoffs (Lakers) are forced to play meaningful games at the end of the season.   Teams that might be packing it in as they don't have a shot at the 8 seed have new life and are playing meaningful games to try to make that play-in game (Wizards, Pelicans, Spurs).  Plus the games themselves will be fun.  I love the play-in games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The play-in games was to compensate for the shorter regular season last year due to Covid. Covid shortened this season as well (the team's aren't playing 82 games) so they kept it around another year. The play-in games basically were an attempt to even out the uneven schedules. 

The side product of the play-in games is it has made regular season games have meaning far later into the season. Fewer teams are blatantly tanking so far. The league will make more money and I sincerely doubt it will go away now. I wouldn't be surprised if they added a best of three series for the last playoff spot in the future. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NBA play-in format is working better than we imagined, no matter what LeBron says: Hollinger

https://theathletic.com/2566282/2021/05/04/nba-play-in-format-is-working-better-than-we-imagined-no-matter-what-lebron-says-hollinger/

Overall, I’d say the play-in tournament’s impact on regular-season incentives has been about as positive as the league could possibly have imagined. Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be promoted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anything that results in less teams "tanking" is a good thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, I❤️JV said:

NBA play-in format is working better than we imagined, no matter what LeBron says: Hollinger

https://theathletic.com/2566282/2021/05/04/nba-play-in-format-is-working-better-than-we-imagined-no-matter-what-lebron-says-hollinger/

Overall, I’d say the play-in tournament’s impact on regular-season incentives has been about as positive as the league could possibly have imagined. Whoever came up with that s*** needs to be promoted.

Well done young padawan. You are learning how to use the force! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, pjs said:

Anything that results in less teams "tanking" is a good thing.

Without a doubt!  Also punishes treadmill/low upside playoff teams who aren’t legit contenders.  
 

I think they should do 7 versus 10 and 8 versus 9 with the higher seeds getting the first two games at home in a 3 game miniseries. 
 

Reward the “good” playoff teams with a few extra days off.  
 

I would even tweak the lottery — open up the top pick to every team in the league so each team gets a 3.33% chance at getting the top overall pick which would hopefully discourage tanking.  It would also be great for ratings!  2-4 would be selected by lotto balls for non-playoff teams.  5th pick goes to one of the 4 play-in game losers.  ... so the worst team record wise could fall to 6.  Nobody is gonna tank for THAT.  Maybe you tweak the odds back in favor of the worst 3 or 4 or 5 teams to make up for them maybe falling to 6-7-8.  
 

To really convolute things, I would consider expanding the draft to 3 rounds BUT making it a serpentine draft where the league champs gets 30 and 31.  Discourage tanking a bit that way too — usually there’s a big difference between the top of the second round and the END of the second round.  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, ALT GRIND said:

I think they should do 7 versus 10 and 8 versus 9 with the higher seeds getting the first two games at home in a 3 game miniseries.

This.   Or give the lower seed game 1 at home. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During the final Joerger season, the Grizzlies finished 7th, and I would have been happy for them to have been eliminated during the play-in season because that team limped to the finish line.  That team was 37-24 and went 5-16 due to injuries, including 1-10 to finish off the last 11 games of season.

Yes, it still would have been painful to seem them lose twice in the play-in tournament, but I would take that quicker death and higher draft pick instead of the extremely boring series sweep against the Spurs in the first round of playoffs.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the simplest explanation that I have read re: how it works:

‘The play-in tournament will see the No. 7 team host the No. 8 team, with the winner claiming the seventh seed in the conference. To determine the eighth seed, the loser of that game would play the winner of a game between the Nos. 9 and 10 teams.’
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, King Dork said:

Heard on ESPN they are making 94 mil off those 2 games alone. They ain’t goin nowhere. 

Always about the money.

Agreed -> play-INS are here to stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really think the only valid argument about the current format is that any crappy team and beat the best team in a single game and there seems to be a huge gap between this format and the best-of-7 format in the playoffs. I mean, absolutely nobody complains about giving the 8th seed a chance to knock off the 1st seed in the first round, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, fanboyslim said:

I really think the only valid argument about the current format is that any crappy team and beat the best team in a single game and there seems to be a huge gap between this format and the best-of-7 format in the playoffs. I mean, absolutely nobody complains about giving the 8th seed a chance to knock off the 1st seed in the first round, right?

If an 8 seed is talented enough to knock off a 1, they should be talented enough to knock off a 9 to get there. Just saying 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, fanboyslim said:

I really think the only valid argument about the current format is that any crappy team and beat the best team in a single game and there seems to be a huge gap between this format and the best-of-7 format in the playoffs. I mean, absolutely nobody complains about giving the 8th seed a chance to knock off the 1st seed in the first round, right?

 

9 minutes ago, King Dork said:

If an 8 seed is talented enough to knock off a 1, they should be talented enough to knock off a 9 to get there. Just saying 

I don't believe these two comments aren't in agreement. 

the play-in games will work because they are exciting, easy to watch and it keeps teams from tanking down the stretch which makes a lot more regular season games interesting as well. 

Think about it this way. If there was no play-in games this season, wouldn't we be having a lot of threads arguing that the team should lose games now since their best hope is 8th place and that means a sweep out of the playoffs and no chance for a top draft pick? Isn't it more fun to discuss how the team can make it to play the 8th place team? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, chipc3 said:

 

I don't believe these two comments aren't in agreement. 

the play-in games will work because they are exciting, easy to watch and it keeps teams from tanking down the stretch which makes a lot more regular season games interesting as well. 

Think about it this way. If there was no play-in games this season, wouldn't we be having a lot of threads arguing that the team should lose games now since their best hope is 8th place and that means a sweep out of the playoffs and no chance for a top draft pick? Isn't it more fun to discuss how the team can make it to play the 8th place team? 

That is the key. Adam Silver may be the one person who hates the dumb idea of tanking more than me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It certainly impacts teams 7-11 or 12 in each conference as they are the ones in the playin or trying to get there.

It also impacts teams in the middle of the playoffs as they definitely do not want to fall to 7

In a small way, and It impacts the teams at the top as well as they can't lose a game or two to avoid playing a certain team.  For example, if the Lakers did fall to 7 this year, I could see the team in #2 losing a last couple games of the season to go to #3, but since the matchups are unknown, they can't.  Admittedly, this is probably rare as most those teams would normally just be fighting for home court.and don't need the motivation.

 

I also think it impacts the tanking teams as well.  With teams 9-12 still somewhat in a chase, those teams do not have to sink to the bottom as desperately.  Yes, there are still the teams like the Rockets and Thunder tanking hard, but there really only 6 teams this year trying to get to the bottom.

 

And certainly, it has more people scoreboard watching and checking out the standings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

 

I don't believe these two comments aren't in agreement. 

the play-in games will work because they are exciting, easy to watch and it keeps teams from tanking down the stretch which makes a lot more regular season games interesting as well. 

Think about it this way. If there was no play-in games this season, wouldn't we be having a lot of threads arguing that the team should lose games now since their best hope is 8th place and that means a sweep out of the playoffs and no chance for a top draft pick? Isn't it more fun to discuss how the team can make it to play the 8th place team? 

Whoops, I meant "the only valid argument against the current format".

Other than that, I completely agree with you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What would be really interesting is if the lottery was altered to allow all the teams not in the playoffs to have an equal shot at getting the top 3 picks. After those picks are decided the lottery proceeds according to record. There would be no incentive to lose games that way because being worst only gets you a 1 in 14 shot at the top three picks. 

This way the top 6 teams get an extra week of rest before the playoffs (a nice reward in itself), the net four team are competing to get into the playoffs with the extra contract bonuses, the bottom 10 teams all have incentives to win (or at least no incentive to lose) and the fans who pay for all these crazy salaries get closer to a full 82 game schedule if interesting action. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, chipc3 said:

What would be really interesting is if the lottery was altered to allow all the teams not in the playoffs to have an equal shot at getting the top 3 picks. After those picks are decided the lottery proceeds according to record. There would be no incentive to lose games that way because being worst only gets you a 1 in 14 shot at the top three picks. 

This way the top 6 teams get an extra week of rest before the playoffs (a nice reward in itself), the net four team are competing to get into the playoffs with the extra contract bonuses, the bottom 10 teams all have incentives to win (or at least no incentive to lose) and the fans who pay for all these crazy salaries get closer to a full 82 game schedule if interesting action. 

How about making it really interesting? Give the #1 pick to the team that wins the championship. And give the #2 pick to the runner up, coin flip for #3 and #4 picks to the team that lose the Conference Finals . . .  You wouldn't have franchises like the Kings, Cavs and T'Wolves content to lose forever, get top draft picks, and collect their TV money.

NBA would never do that, of course.  But teams should never, ever have incentive to lose, imo. 

Minnesota could get their 3rd #1 overall pick in a 6 years this year. Cavs had 3 in 4 years not long ago. Both franchises still losing at record paces. Why should top draft eligible players be sentenced to suck *** franchises who don't try to win ?

Best solution I have read is the "wheel" lottery. Silver said he thought it was interesting. Basically assigns the picks randomly, but every team gets a #1 pick eventually. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the play-in is scheduled for May 18-21.  I wonder how they will space the games?  One conference on 18th & 20th and the other on 19th and 21st?  Playoffs start on May 22nd (#7 seeds could play), but I would guess the #8 seeds would wait until sunday the 23rd for first game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now