Dallas Mavericks superstar Luke Doncic is among those who aren’t in favor of the current league concept of a play-in tournament, which was unanimously approved by the NBA board of governors following it being used for the first time ahead of the playoffs during the bubble-played segmented season in 2020.
The Mavs (29-24) currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, and that means that they would have to play in a play-in tournament if the season were to conclude today, as the Portland Trail Blazers currently sit two games ahead of them and own the tiebreaker over Dallas this season.
“I don’t understand the idea of a play-in,” Doncic said, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon. “You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you’re out of the playoffs. So I don’t see the point of that.”
“We’re just trying to get to the sixth spot,” Doncic said. “I think that’s our goal right now. Maybe even [higher] than the sixth spot.”
According to the current concept, the seventh- and eighth-place teams play each other, with the winner earning the seventh seed. The ninth- and 10th-place teams also play each other, with the loser eliminated from playoff contention. Then, the loser of the “Seven-Eight Game” and winner of the “Nine-Ten Game” then play for the eighth seed in the playoffs.