The Dallas Mavericks currently sit seventh in the Western Conference and their sole focus over the final 19 regular-season games is to avoid the play-in tournament. The top six teams in each conference are guaranteed a traditional first-round playoff series with teams seven through ten battling it out in the play-in for the final two spots.
The NBA introduced the play-in during the bubble. There it was eight versus nine in each conference in a one-game showdown to see who grabbed the eighth seed. The league expanded it in 2021. Now, seven and eight square off with the winner advancing to the postseason as the seventh seed. The loser faces the winner of the nine versus ten game for the final playoff position in each conference.
No team wants to be in the play-in. Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic and owner Mark Cuban had some harsh words to say about the play-in in recent days. Here is a closer look at their thoughts.
Mavericks star Luka Doncic and owner Mark Cuban are not fans of the play-in tournament
Luka was asked following the game on April 12 how much he is looking at the standing down the stretch. Listen to his reply below.
Owner Mark Cuban doubled down on Tuesday by going in-depth on why the play-in tournament is a mistake. Fans should read his comments, but he noted it’s creating more stress on players in an already compressed schedule. Quite a few high usage players got injured this season, and the need to finish in the top six added to the jam-packed slate could be at least partially to blame.
Here is why the Dallas Mavericks owner and superstar were right and wrong about the play-in tournament.
Next: Why they were right