How many teams make the NBA Play-In Tournament?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Stephen Curry / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have their sights set on avoiding the Play-In Tournament over the final 17 regular season games. The top six teams in each conference automatically qualify for the playoffs, and it is a tight battle in the West. Dallas is currently seventh, but just one game behind the Warriors, who sit fifth.

There is a bit of worry among Mavericks supporters after Sunday’s loss to the Suns. Dallas has lost six of their last eight games, and they have allowed over 120 points in three straight. The Mavs need to get their defense sorted out as they are still trying to maximize the Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving partnership after the blockbuster trade.

Dallas could easily slip into the Play-In Tournament, so how does it work? How many teams qualify? Who advances to the playoffs? Get all the specifics here.

How many teams make the NBA Play-In Tournament?

The Play-In Tournament features the seventh through tenth seeds in each conference based on regular season records. There are just three games in each conference with two teams advancing to the NBA Playoffs.

Which teams advance to the NBA Playoffs?

The seventh seed faces the eighth with the winner advancing to the NBA Playoffs as the seventh seed. The loser takes on the winner of the nine versus ten game for the eighth and final playoff spot in each conference.

Teams want to avoid the Play-In Tournament because their season comes down to just one game. The first round of the playoffs is a best-of-seven series for the two teams that qualify, but anything can happen in a single game, especially with the season on the line.

When does NBA Play-In Tournament begin?

The Play-In Tournament kicks off on April 11 and concludes on April 14 this year with the playoffs set to begin on April 15. Fans know it is every other day in the first round of the playoffs, which makes it a grind for everyone involved, especially if they are dealing with injuries.

If the season ended on the morning on March 6, the Dallas Mavericks would face LA Clippers in the Play-In Tournament with the winner advancing as the seventh seed to play the Memphis Grizzlies. The loser would face the winner of the Pelicans versus Jazz game for the eighth and final playoff spot and a matchup with the Denver Nuggets in the first round.

Much will change in the Western Conference before the end of the regular season as fifth and 13th in the conference are separated by just 3.5 games. Who avoids the Play-In Tournament? Which teams claw their way into the tournament and advance to the playoffs? Stay tuned to find out.

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