THE National Basketball Association (NBA) hopes play-in tournaments will be adopted as a permanent change, according to a report from Sports Illustrated on Monday.
The league used a play-in tournament last year ahead of the playoff bubble and brought it back this season.
In this year’s format, the top six teams in the regular season automatically qualify for the playoffs and etch their names into the bracket.
The No. 7-10 teams are then relegated to the “play-in” round.
No. 7 and No. 8 play each other for the right to the 7 seed. The loser of that matchup would host the winner of the No. 9 and No. 10 seed for the right to the final spot as the 8 seed.
Per the SI report, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league should have support to make it permanent.
All 30 team governors, in addition to the players, approved the play-in format for the 2021 season when the league inquired about implementing the tournament.
Having the play-in provides incentives to teams to remain competitive throughout the entire regular season, especially the final month, per the report.
However, the decision likely won’t be made until after the 2021 season concludes.
PHILLY DOMINANT OVER OKC
Meanwhile, Joel Embiid scored 21 points, Ben Simmons returned from a four-game absence with an illness to add 12 and the host Philadelphia 76ers routed the struggling Oklahoma City (OKC) Thunder (121-90) on Monday.
Tobias Harris contributed 11, Furkan Korkmaz and Paul Reed added 10 each, and Dwight Howard swept 11 rebounds for the Sixers (40-21), who compiled 22 steals and snapped a season-high four-game losing streak. Starter Danny Green was held out with a sore hip.
It is the fastest the Sixers have reached 40 wins since 2001 when they advanced to the NBA Finals.
The Thunder (20-41) tied a franchise mark set in 2008 with their 14th consecutive loss.
Ty Jerome led the Thunder with 22 points while Darius Bazley added 14, Moses Brown had 11 and Theo Maledon gained 10. — Reuters