How does the NBA Play-in tournament work? Will Dallas Mavericks be in it?
The top six teams automatically advance to the playoffs and will get a much-needed week off between the regular-season finale and the start of the first round. Seven through ten are in the play-in.
It works like this. Seven faces eight in a one-game showdown with the winner advancing as the seventh seed. They will take on the number two seed in a traditional seven-game series. The loser of the seven versus eight game battles the winner of the nine against ten contest in one game to decide the eighth seed.
No team wants to take part because it is just one game that could end their season. The Dallas Mavericks are heavily favored to avoid it. They cannot drop below seventh in the West meaning they will get two chances to advance to the playoffs in the worst-case scenario. Basketball-Reference gives the Mavs just a 2.2 percent of being in the play-in.
Dallas’ magic number is down to two to avoid it. That means they need a combination of two wins and Lakers losses over the final week to finish in the top six. The Mavs need to take advantage of their favorable slate and grab their playoff spot.
Next: Why Mavs are against play-in