Details of proposed play-in tournament as part of 22-team return plan, revealed
The NBA is expected to propose a play-in tournament as part of a 22-team return-to-play proposal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The season will tentatively resume on July 31 and end on Oct. 12, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
This proposal would bring all 16 teams currently qualified for the playoffs as well as six other teams. Each of the 22 invited teams would play eight regular-season games to determine the right seeding, per Wojnarowski.
According to Charania, this is how the tournament would sort out who takes the eighth seed:
“The play-in tournament would work as follows, according to sources: If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth.”
Teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings were at the thick of the race before the season came to a halt on March 11 — all 3.5 games back of the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
The San Antonio Spurs are four games back while the Phoenix Suns are a full six away from the last seed in the West.
Out East, the Washington Wizards trail the Orlando Magic by 5.5 games.