Play-In Series Here To Stay? Silver Hopes So

The NBA could adopt some form of a play-in round in future seasons, commissioner Adam Silver told Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix.

The league created the possibility of a play-in series for its restart this summer, and there will be one in the Western Conference. Portland, which moved into the No. 8 spot, will face No. 9 Memphis. The Blazers can advance to a first-round matchup against the top-seeded Lakers with a victory on Saturday or Sunday. The Grizzlies must knock off the Blazers on consecutive days to earn the right to face the Lakers.

Silver said a play-in series was under consideration for years, so it may not be a one-time thing.

“I do see this as something we would embrace going forward,” he said. “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.”

As Mannix notes, three Western Conference teams played in meaningful games Thursday that decided the eighth and ninth seeds. Portland’s season would have ended if the team hadn’t survived a one-point decision against Brooklyn.

The NBA considered a play-in tournament as recently as last fall, as part of a broader proposal to create a 78-game regular season and an in-season tournament, Mannix notes. Under that proposal, four teams in each conference would compete for the final two seeds during the play-in round.

The ever-popular commissioner would have to sell that plan to the players and coaches to make it a reality. This year’s format, with the eighth and ninth seeds facing each other, might be a greater possibility for future seasons.

“I think it would be a great addition to the league,” Silver added.

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20 thoughts on “Play-In Series Here To Stay? Silver Hopes So

    • specialfriedrice

      Silver inherited a ‘cash cow’…to any longtime fan he ideas are ludicrous and detrimental to the history of the game. He does stink.

  1. Curtisrowe

    So the 8th seed could have 43 wins and the 9th seed could have 35 wins and 8 would have to beat 9 to get in the playoffs.

    No thanks.

    • ecampos84

      Do you know how the play-in worked this year? The #9 seed needed to be within 4 games of the 8th seed. Otherwise it wouldn’t have happened. Come on man know what you’re talking about before you speak

      • hiflew

        Leaving out the faulty logic that there would ever be an 8 game separation between the 8 and 9 seed (It could happen, but probably wouldn’t happen), I kind of understand his point.

        Yes there is the 4 game rule, but his point works for that as well. If a team with 39 wins gets 2 victories, they could leap ahead of a team with 43 wins. BUT the 6 seed doesn’t have a chance to jump ahead of the 5 seed in the same way. For that matter, the 8 seed can’t leapfrog the 7 seed even if they are within 1 game.

        But the best reason is that 16 teams is PLENTY of playoff teams for a 30 team league. I don’t see any benefit at all for giving teams #17 and #18 any chance (however small) at winning the league championship.

      • Curtisrowe

        Yes, I do know how it worked but I forgot, let me try again. So the 8th seed could have 43 wins and the 9th seed could have 39 and 8 would have to beat 9 to get into the playoffs?

        No thanks.

      • rap4life

        A lot of people have no clue on how things work before opening their mouths

  2. mdunkel

    He is a JOKE. The entire playoff system and draft. He has ran this thing into the ground.

      • hiflew

        Wouldn’t be worse. Would be the same. Both guys are so insecure that they feel like they have to fundamentally change the leagues that have been popular for decades in order to put their stamp on them. The best commissioners are ones that maintain leagues, not change them.

  3. El Don

    Must be said he has done the best job ever with the bubble, a lot here said it wouldn’t/couldn’t happen… well it is happening & better than anyone should have had ever the right to think of.
    So he has done a great job indeed.
    I am not a fan of changes but… this guy has won the benefit of the doubt from all true NBA fans, only the usual naysayers will keep on at him!

  4. x%sure

    Silver has the same dull vision as others have in other sports, who don’t realize that there will be a race to qualify regardless of where you put the line. The race for ninth is no more or less edifying than the race for eighth. More of the losing teams may get involved but that did not happen this year and usually will not.
    I could argue against the examples in the story but no thats work. Mannix is getting paid to deceive.

    • phenomenalajs

      What are you talking about? The race in the West was very exciting. The West team with the worst record entering the bubble went undefeated in the seeding games and just missed the play-in game by a tie-breaker and a last second shot missed by Caris LeVert who went toe-to-toe with Damian Lillard the entire game.

      • x%sure

        Sounds good. But how would that have been any different if there was no play-in game, just a race for 8th? And if that question has a good answer, why not apply it to 10th place or any other place?

        I try not to get mentally involved with the mathematics of placement races because the best advice is always, win your games.

        (A side question, what should be the name of that situation where one team must win two straight to advance in a trny bracket and the other team doesn’t… a Silver Bracket? A Disney Fix?)

  5. Buckman

    Any team with a winning record gets into the playoffs. Losing records play in for final spots. For example, this year in the East Mil, Tor, Bos, Ind, Mia, Phi are in which leaves two spots. The next 4 teams with losing records play in so that would be Was v Brk for a spot and Cha v Orl for a spot.

    Out West, this year there would be no changes because top 7 spots are winning records which leaves Mem v Por in the play in.

    I think one game play ins briefly capture the excitement of the NCAA tourney. The winners will most likely get blasted in the first round but it might add a little more excitement.

    • phenomenalajs

      In the cases you mentioned, it should still match the format of this year where the higher seeded team has to win once while the lower seeded team needs to win twice. In your East example, it probably would’ve been 7 vs 10 and 8 vs 9, so Nets vs Hornets and Magic vs Wizards.

  6. Appalachian_Outlaw

    This clown… Why not just axe the season entirely and every team qualifies for the playoffs!? Best of 21 game series every round!


  7. KnickerbockerAl

    So much hate for a guy who just showed the world. How it’s done in a pandemic. This is a one time thing, Hopefully. You don’t need it in a regular season. Cause you got 82 gms. To make your statement. So it is not going to happen. Better argument is records of lower seeds in East n west. Although I’m old school. And like this fine always East vs West in Finals.
    I guess this back thing with JC. Is not a serious thing. I mean he looked gd. Maybe not 100% but still played. He stays like this. They can play the Lakers. But they need everyone. Collins healthy, Melo playing. I see Melo even playing D. That’s huge. Bron is bad matchup for Blazers so they will need depth. Blazers vs Lakers should be a series. Blazers already in playoff mode. Lakers better be ready.

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