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Report: NBA will have play-in tournament again next season

The NBA Playoffs play-in tournament, where four teams in each conference compete for the final two playoff spots in each conference, will continue next year.

NEW YORK — The NBA and NBA Player's Association have reportedly agreed to continue the NBA Playoffs "play-in tournament" at least through next season. 

The play-in concept started this season coming off the pandemic and a slightly shortened season with the hope that more teams and fans would keep interest in the regular season. It was also designed to hopefully prevent more teams from tanking at the end of the regular season for better draft positions.

The NBA Playoffs have eight teams from each conference. But this year, the 7 through 10 seeds of each conference battled in a play-in tournament for the 7 and 8 spots in the playoffs.

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The tournament had the 7-seed play the 8-seed and the winner of that one game would go on to be the 7-seed in the playoffs. The loser of that game would play the winner of a one-game matchup between the 9 and 10 seeds. The winner of that third game would go on to be the 8-seed in the playoffs. 

This year, the Grizzlies were the 9-seed going into the play-in tournament but got into the playoffs as the 8-seed after defeating the Spurs and then the Warriors. The Lakers were the 7-seed after the regular season and got into the playoffs as the 7-seed when they defeated the Warriors in round one of the play-in tournament.

On the Eastern Conference side, the Celtics and Wizards both got into the playoffs as the 7 and 8 seeds, respectively, and they also held those seeds at the end of the regular season.

Out of the 30 NBA teams, 24 had a chance to earn a spot in at least the play-in tournament over the final two weeks of the 2020-21 regular season. 

The decision is still pending an expected approval of the league's board of governors at an August meeting, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.  


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