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Are You Ready for the NBA Play-In Tournament?

 

Are You Ready for the NBA Play-In Tournament?

We have just one more week left of the NBA regular season - then it’s on to the playoffs. This season’s postseason structure will be a bit different. Still feeling repercussions from Covid-19 on the league’s schedule, there is an NBA play-in tournament this season to determine the final seeds.

 

The season has just 72 games instead of the typical 82. This play-in tournament is a way for teams to have an opportunity to get into the playoffs if they were right on the cusp. This is also a plus for NBA bettors with an expanded betting board.

Are you ready for the NBA play-in tournament? Here’s everything you need to know before it gets started.

NBA play-in tournament start date

The play-in tournament kicks off on May 17 and concludes on May 21. The NBA playoffs will immediately begin on May 22.

 

 

 

NBA play-in tournament format

There will be a play-in tournament for both the Eastern and Western conferences. Each conference has a tournament of four teams, which forms a mini-bracket to determine the final two seeds in each conference.

 The 7 seed will play the 8 seed, with the winner of that game securing their spot as the seventh seed in their conference. The 9 seed and the 10 seed face-off, with the winner of that game playing the loser of the 7 vs. 8 game.

Whoever wins between those two teams then earns the eighth and final spot in their conference’s 2021 NBA playoffs

It boils down to what is essentially a three-game tournament for both the East and the West.

Eastern Conference Teams Likely to Play in the Tournament

As of this writing, the Boston Celtics will need a lot of help to break back into the top six of the East. Currently, two games back from both Atlanta and Miami, Boston is likely to be the seventh seed and host the first play-in game.

The remaining three teams likely to be in the mix are the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Wizards, and Indiana Pacers.

Of the four teams, Washington has been playing the best basketball. Even if they remain in their current 9 spot, they seem poised to win their way into the playoffs.

The Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors aren’t technically eliminated yet but are on the outside looking in.

Related Link > Inside the 2021 NHL Season

Western Conference Teams Likely to Play in the Tournament

The Western Conference is a bit more established at the top of the conference, with five teams already having secured spots in the playoffs. That leaves the Portland Trail Blazers and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to battle it out for the sixth seed.

Portland was the beneficiary of the play-in tournament last season in the bubble, taking the eighth spot from Memphis. I’m sure they’d like to avoid it this year and lock themselves into a spot.

Whoever falls short of that goal will be in the play-in tournament as the seventh seed. The three remaining teams likely to be in the tournament are the Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and San Antonio Spurs.

There’s a small chance the New Orleans Pelicans usurp the Spurs spot as the tenth seed. With Zion Williamson shut down for the year, it feels unlikely.

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