The NBA play-in tournament has been a major success for the league.
The blueprint of success for this was shown in the bubble.
The Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies had a great game with amazing intensity throughout.
Now we have superstars facing off in the tournament and the fans are ready.
WE GOT A LAKERS VS. WARRIORS PLAY-IN GAME 🤯
Another chapter in the LeBron-Steph rivalry pic.twitter.com/hpA2VtU5RJ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 17, 2021
The idea was far from perfect.
Teams playing more games just to be in the playoffs seems like a tough idea to get players to agree on.
However, the league has implemented this tournament and we are lucky to have it.
These are the reasons as to why the play-in tournament was such a success.
Hope for Everyone
The play-in tournament has given life to the teams who have had trouble cracking the playoffs.
Teams like the Charlotte Hornets have missed out on the postseason, but now have the opportunity to grab a spot.
The 10th spot in both conferences has always been a purgatory of sorts for middling franchises.
Too good to grab a great draft pick, but not good enough to make the playoffs.
Now with the play-in, teams in the middle have a chance to sneak in.
There is now an incentive to try and play when your team is good, but not great.
Tanking is still going to be an issue, but that has been gradually less of problem in recent years.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets tanked, but that is what was expected as they had no expectations to be good at all.
The San Antonio Spurs are a team that could be a No. 8 seed, but also fall just short of the postseason.
Now they have a chance this week, which was not possible a few years back.
Golden State has played hard all season long with Stephen Curry being a human torch every game.
He has willed this team with very little offensive talent to a chance against the defending champs.
The hope is there for franchises that were once improbable.
NBA teams are scared of the chance they can lose in one or two games.
The NBA playoffs are a best of seven series where the best team will most likely always prevail.
However, the play-in tournament is close to March Madness.
One player can get hot and win one game to move on.
NBA players and owners have had takes as to why this is such a bad idea.
LeBron James was very aggressive with his opinion on it.
LeBron James on the play-in tournament: "Whoever came up with that s— needs to be fired"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) May 3, 2021
Also, Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban believed it was money grab.
Mark Cuban was part of unanimous vote approving NBA’s play-in tournament. “But the compression of so many games into so few days makes this an enormous mistake,” he told ESPN. https://t.co/jVxy2G56zI
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) April 13, 2021
The ironic part about those comments were that they were made when both of their teams were each the seventh seed at the time, respectively.
This is a blessing for us fans.
We get to see potential great teams having to play in do-or-die games.
The players might not like to play more games, but this brings out the competitiveness within the NBA.
Teams are scared of this play-in tournament, which makes this a big win for the league and should be used for the foreseeable future.