As soon as Adam Silver took the reins from David Stern as NBA Commissioner, a lot of changes came. Although these changes might have been met with resistance by fans, staff, and even the players themselves, these have made the NBA a bit more exciting. The change that we’re particularly alluding to is the Play-in Tournament.
The standard format for the regular season is that only the best 8 teams from each conference go into their own playoff round. The 9th and lower-ranked teams did not enter the playoffs in the past. Now with a play-in round, the last teams in the standings can have a chance at the playoffs.
In the play-in tournament, the 9th and 10th seeded team will get to play for a chance to get a spot in the playoffs. Whoever wins between the 7th and 8th seed will go to the playoffs. The loser, however, will play the winner between the 9th and 10th seed. Whoever wins this last chance game will get to play in the playoffs as the last team to face the top-seeded team. With that said, let’s take a look at the 4 teams that’ll end up 9th and 10th in both conferences:
The Los Angeles Lakers trio of Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook look to be a dynasty on paper. However, the addition of Russell Westbrook isn’t living up to expectations as the Lakers are miserably at the 9th spot in the Western Conference. Although Lebron James is having a career year, he alone isn’t enough to shoulder the burdens of a once-competitive Lakers team.
Anthony Davis is out with an injury, and Russell Westbrook hasn’t been performing like the superstar he is. Although fans are disappointed with how things are turning up, they shouldn’t lose hope yet. The Lakers still have a chance to make it to the playoffs via the play-in tournament. What’s ironic about this chance is that Lebron James was one of the most vocal players against the creation of the play-in tournament the previous season.
In 10th place, the New Orleans Pelicans should capitalize and start winning games to have a chance at the playoffs. Although Zion Williamson still isn’t playing this season, all-star Brandon Ingram is carrying the team and doing well.
If you want to get some wins with NBA betting, you should consider picking the Pelicans to make it to the play-in tournament and possibly into the playoffs. Just recently, they added all-star CJ McCollum from the Portland Trailblazers. This single move alone has greatly increased the chance of the Pelicans.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Another team with three stars in their lineup is the Brooklyn Nets. And we’re not just talking about any stars. Going into the season, the Nets had Kevin “K.D.” Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. Now, the Nets are dangling in the Eastern Conference and are in danger of not making it to the playoffs.
James Harden has recently been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons can’t shoot well and hasn’t even suited up for the Nets due to an injury. The Slim Reaper Kevin Durant is battling an injury and is playing quality but limited minutes. Kyrie Irving is still having problems with vaccination and remains in and out of the rotation.
The Brooklyn Nets certainly have the tools for a good run towards the NBA championship. However, they need to win games to get there. With the way they’re playing, the Nets are thankful that they have a chance at entering the playoffs via the play-in tournament.
Trae Young has been named an all-star and is continuing his stellar play for the Atlanta Hawks. They also have sharpshooters Danillo Gallinari, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and defensive big Clint Capella. John Collins is also back and performing well. However, all the Hawks’ positivity hasn’t translated into wins for them.
The Hawks are 10th in a tightly contested Eastern Conference as of this writing. The team also didn’t make a significant move during the trade deadline. Although it seems that the Hawks are going for a rebuild, a shot at the NBA title is too big of a reward just to pass on. Hawks fans should expect their team to work hard. Even if they’re playing for a play-in spot, every chance the Hawks get matters.
The play-in tournament will commence as the NBA ends its regular season. Although the play-in tournament is an excellent chance to get to the playoffs, it’s the most challenging road to take.
If you’re the 9th or 10th seed and win your first game, you have to play the losing team from the 7th vs. 8th seed game. If you win all games, you get the last final playoff spot. Although it’s tiring for the players, the play-in tournament is one of the most exciting changes the NBA has made since.