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Why the NBA play-in games format was pure genius

nba play-in game format

We all know LeBron James recently mocked the NBA Play-In games, saying “whoever came up with it should be fired,” but this is just one year removed of him saying it was a great idea to let teams in the 8-10 seeds hash it out for a spot in the playoffs.

Here is why LeBron lied to us… He said in March 2020, that all these teams should battle it out at the end, and he was right then. This 2021 season wouldn’t be the same without the play in. With stars like Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Domantas Sabonis, LeBron James, all in the play in, it makes the season 10 times better in just a 2 day span of games.

Now, the real season James might not love this though, is the fact that the Lakers have a one game battle with Curry and the Warriors, and it’s guaranteed to be wildly entertaining, if you are looking to bet, this is going to be one of the more fun weeks to bet in sports history. The best current lines and live NBA spreads are out for the Tuesday and Wednesday play-in games.

Here is the 2021 NBA play-in tournament schedule (all times are Eastern), if you were still wondering how it all works. Yes, if you are an 7 or 8 seed you had to win 1 of 2 games:

NBA Play-In Tournament

Eastern Conference

Tuesday, May 18:
No. 10 Charlotte at No. 9 Indiana, 6:30 p.m., TNT
No. 8 Washington at No. 7 Boston, 9 p.m. TNT

Thursday, May 20:
Winner of Charlotte/Indiana at loser of Washington/Boston, 8 p.m. TNT

Western Conference

Wednesday, May 19:
No. 10 San Antonio at No. 9 Memphis, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
No. 8 Golden State at No. 7 L.A. Lakers, 10 p.m. ESPN

Friday, May 21:
Winner of San Antonio/Memphis at loser of Golden State/Los Angeles, TBD, TNT

Written by Sami Jarjour

The Co-Founder of Sports ON Tap & Host of "Stuff That Matters w/ Sami Jarjour" Podcast & Co-Host of "That Being Said Podcast w/ George & Sami Jarjour."

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