How does the NBA Play-in work?

What is the Play-in and how does the mini-tournament that decrees the last team to enter the Playoffs work?

The Play-in tournament was introduced in 2019/2020 Season, due to the interruption in March for the Health Emergency. The NBA revived in later Seasons.

This mini-tournament proclaims the seventh and eighth teams for each Conference, deciding the last two available places for the Playoffs.

Here you are an easy and quick guide on the operation of this new format.

How does the NBA Play-in work?

The Play-in tournament is played by each Conference at the end of the Regular Season and establishes which are the last two teams that enter in the NBA Playoffs.

It is a format that is only activated when, at the end of the RS, the eighth and the nineth classified team of each Conference are four or less wins away.

The teams ending the RS at seventh and eighth place will have two chances to gain access to the Playoffs. The franchises that will end at nineth and tenth place of the Conference will have to win two consecutive games to snatch the NBA Playoffs’ pass.

The Play-in tournament is organised in three games:

  1. The seventh placed team in the RS will face the eighth placed one, resulting in the seventh qualified team to the Playoffs;
  2. The nineth placed team in the RS will face the tenth placed one and the winning franchise will have access to the Play-in second round;
  3. The seventh vs. eighth game’s defeated team will face the nineth vs. tenth game’s winning team. The game will determine which team will qualify for the NBA Playoffs as eighth.

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