The playoffs are almost around the corner. The NBA Board of Governors has changed their playoffs format for the 2020-21 season introducing a 4-team play-in tournament for each conference that begin May 18 and end May 21, two days after the end of the regular season and Playoffs will start on May 22. Officially it is called the State Farm Play-In Tournament.
What is the play-in tournament?
The NBA will determine the play-in and playoff standings which teams have earned the highest winning percentages in each conference. The seventh and eighth seeds in each conference need one game win and the ninth and tenth seeded teams of both conferences have to win two consecutive games to clinch the playoff birth.
When is the 2021 NBA’s play-in tournament?
The 2021 NBA play-in tournament is scheduled on Tuesday, May 18, and ends on Friday, May 21, running two days after the regular season ends.
How does the 2021 NBA play-in tournament format work?
The top 1-6 NBA teams in each conference that finish with the highest winning percentages in the regular season games will directly earn the playoff spot. And 7-10th No. teams in each conference need to stay for the play-in to earn the playoff spot.
The 7th spot team by winning percentage in each conference will host the 8th seed and the winner will earn the No. 7 seed in the playoffs and the losing team will have another opportunity again against the winner of the 9th vs 10th seed team.
The 9th spot team by winning percentage in each conference will host the 10th seed. The losing team will be eliminated and the winner has to play for game 3 against the loser of the 7th vs 8th spot.
The loser of the 7th spot vs 8th spot will play game 3 against the winner of the 9th spot vs 10th spot team of both conferences and the losing team will out from playoffs race and enters the lottery. The 9th/10th spot team needs to win two straight games to earn the postseason.
It means the losing team from the 7th vs 8th matchup of both conferences will not eliminate directly from the playoffs race. The winner of the 7th vs 8th will clinch the No. 7 seed in the playoffs and the loser of the 7th/8th team vs the winner of the 9th/10th team will earn the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.
Which teams are clinched the 2021 NBA play-in tournament?
Eastern Conference Thursday, May 20th
Game 5: Pacers @ Wizards at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
Western Conference Friday, May 21st
Game 6: Grizzlies @ Warriors at 9 p.m. ET on EST
When do the Playoffs begin?
The 2021 NBA Playoffs will begin on Saturday, May 22, and end approximately no July 22.