Alright more and more details about next season are starting to come out. First, it was that maybe Christmas was going to be the day the 2020-21 season kicked off. Then Sham's came in and informed us that the date is actually around December 22nd with a 72 game schedule.
In his story though, there was also this little nugget
The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources.
How do you feel about this? Personally, I love it. The play-in tournament was without a doubt a success in the bubble, and I like this idea of carrying this thing over and making it permanent. It was a shame that the Pelicans refused to play Zion and they sort of crapped their pants, but think of how much fun that shit was to watch heading into the playoffs.
There's no denying that once you get to the end of the year, the league has to worry about a tanking problem. Teams out of contention shift their focus from making the playoffs to getting as high a lottery pick as possible. The evened out lottery odds didn't really fix that. I'd be curious how this would all work though in a normal season. One of the reasons this was able to work in the bubble was because they set a cutoff of what teams were eligible for the bubble and then made the schedules based off that group. That obviously isn't the case in a normal season when teams would have drastically different schedules. Would it be fair if one team that's on the cusp of an 8/9 seed has a cake walk to end the season and another has to face a bunch playoff teams? I guess that's just tough luck but at what point do they start this "tournament". Do they do it over the last 8 games like in the bubble?
The challenge would be making sure that whoever participates in the tournament plays the same amount of games as everyone else. If a team has to play a handful of extra games just to get swept by LeBron in the first round, they're just going to shut everyone down and those games are going to stink.
Think of how fun it was to collectively root for the Suns as they closed out the season. The Blazers playing must win games like a week before the playoffs and Dame going crazy was great theatre. The West is going to be so goddamn loaded next season, it wouldn't shock me if really good teams are fighting for that final playoff spot.
So count me in on this idea. Who knows if the owners go for it, but I can't see why they wouldn't. There's pretty much no downside as long as you find a way to fit it into whatever your new schedule looks like.