NBA hopes new play-in tournament increases competition for playoffs

Simon Ulibarri, Staff Writer

With the playoffs approaching, many NBA teams look to improve their records in hope of securing one of the top eight seeds in their respective conferences. 

As that is the case, the NBA has implemented a new style for selecting seeds seven and eight by creating a play-in tournament. This will allow seeds nine and ten a chance to win themselves a couple of games against seeds seven and eight that will ultimately get them into the playoffs. This new play-in tournament forces teams to fight for the sixth seed, which creates a more competitive and action-packed league. 

The play-in tournament will take place from May 18 through May 21. It will consist of the seventh and the eighth seeds playing each other for the seventh seed and the ninth and tenth seeds playing each other with the higher seed only having to win one game to advance. The lower seed needs to win two straight to advance. The winner of the seventh and eighth seed game moves on and secures the seventh seed, whereas the loser goes on to play the winner of the ninth and tenth seed game. The winner of that game secures the eighth seed heading into the playoffs. 

Currently, the difference between the fifth seed and ninth seed in the Western Conference is four games, which has teams playing their hardest. In years past, competing teams would have benched their star players in order to rest them before the playoffs. For the Eastern Conference, the differential from the fifth seed and ninth seed is five games. 

With only a few games left in the season, the importance of winning has never held so much significance and will become must-watch television as these teams battle it out in hope of a deep playoff run to bring home a championship to their city.