NBA play-in games may be a mainstay in future seasons based on the drama and emotion evoked by the race for the eighth spot in the West.
The Playoffs are right around the corner, and teams are preparing for a long three-month stretch. For some, getting through to the first round is already a feat. For others, just making it in the Playoffs is already a prize. The latter may be true for the Magic and the Nets in the East.
However, the same isn’t true for the teams in the West. The Mavericks have earned their right in the Playoffs because of a well-balanced team. On the other hand, the Blazers have forced themselves into the brackets by clawing their way up. Their berth wasn’t just handed to them on a silver platter. Instead, they had to earn their spot through the play-in game system.
NBA play-in games may reappear soon
The drama and excitement provided by the play-in games were priceless. For the last spot, four teams had to battle each other out to the last minute. Fans were treated to a matchup between the Grizzlies and the Blazers, where the latter team came out victorious. The build-up to their tussle was amazing, to say the least.
As a result, succeeding seasons may see the same action from the NBA play-in games. NBA commissioner Adam Silver himself said that he’s open to this possibility. He said,
“I do see this as something we would embrace going forward. As you know I’ve been talking about it for a while. We saw this as an opportunity to institute a form of it. I’m not sure if this would be the exact format going forward. But this is something we’d like to see stay.”
Pushback from team owners
Having play-in games entail a shortened season. The schedule of the teams will be cut short with two to three games. Unfortunately, this isn’t a welcome sight for team owners. Because of the pandemic, revenues of the teams have dropped drastically. As long as live game attendance is prohibited, team owners will continue to bleed.
As such, they’d want to squeeze as many games as possible in the next seasons for ticket sales. Maybe once the team owners have recovered, the play-in games may be welcomed. After all, these games spice up the last few runs of the teams bound for the lottery. They also give added drama from the bottom of the pack.
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