2023 Playoffs: NBA Play-In Tournament
The 2023 NBA Playoffs are here! Due to a new wrinkle, there are play-in games for seeds 7-10 for the final two spots in the playoffs. While teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz are headed for the lottery, a few teams are still fighting to reach the NBA first round. Here’s everything you need to know about how the NBA play-in tournament.
What is the NBA Play-In Tournament?
Due to worries over teams tanking at the end of the regular season for the NBA Draft lottery, the league introduced a play-in tournament to begin the playoffs so 10 teams from each conference will be in the mix throughout the season. The play-in games and matchups determine the number seven and eight seeds in each of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Four teams seeded 7-10 compete in the games.
The postseason picture returns to the normal format after the games of the play-in tournament have determined the final two playoff spots. The number one seed plays the number eight, the number two plays the number seven, and so on.
How Does the NBA Play-In Tournament Work?
For the play-in tournament, four teams are competing for the number 7 seed and number 8 seed. At the end of the regular season, four teams in each conference number 7-10 in the standings play in six total games for the final seeds in the playoffs. The first game is 7-8 while the second game is 9-10.
The winner of the 7-8 game advances to the NBA playoffs as the number seven seed. In the Eastern Conference, this means a matchup with the number 2 seed Boston Celtics. In the west, it will be the Memphis Grizzlies waiting. The loser of the 7-8 game plays the winner of the 9-10 game for the eighth and final seed.
The current format was approved for the 2021 NBA Playoffs by the NBA Board of Governors. The number 7 or 8 seeds have to win just one game to advance while the 9-10 seeds need to win two games to lock up the number 8 seed.
The number 8 seed in the west will face the number 1 seed Denver Nuggets while the east will face Milwaukee Bucks. That’s a quick look at how the 2023 NBA play-in tournament works before we get to the first round of the playoffs.
2023 NBA Play-In Matchups for the Postseason
The 2023 NBA play-in tournament begins on Tuesday, April 11 as teams fight for the final playoff seeds. Here are the matchups and schedule for the next few days. Let’s start with the Eastern Conference.
Tues. April 11, 2023: No. 8 Atlanta Hawks at No. 7 Miami Heat (TNT)
Wed. April 12, 2023: No. 10 Chicago Bulls at No. 9 Toronto Raptors (ESPN)
Fri. April 14, 2023: Winner 9/10 at Loser 7/8
For the Western Conference matchups, LeBron James and the Lakers hope to keep their season alive. Here are the matchups.
Tues. April 11, 2023: No. 8 Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers (TNT)
Wed. April 12, 2023: No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN)
Fri. April 14, 2023: Winner 9/10 at Loser 7-8
The losers of games are eliminated from the postseason. The 7-8 seeds have two opportunities to win one game to advance. The 9-10 seeds have to win two games to make the playoffs. The higher-seeded team will host the play-in game.
2023 NBA Play In Tournament FAQs
The NBA play-in tournament takes place after the NBA regular season. To earn a playoff spot, teams that finish 7-10 in their respective conferences play for a chance to advance to the playoffs.
Seeds 7-10 in each conference compete in the NBA’s play-in tournament. The league set up these games to determine the seventh and eighth seeds in each league for the playoffs. the
There are a total of six games in the play-in tournament. Number 7 vs 8 and then number 9 vs 10. The winner of the 7-8 matchup advances and becomes the seventh seed. The loser of the 7-8 matchup plays the winner of the 9-10 in the final game to earn a playoff spot.
The broadcast schedule includes games on TNT and ESPN. For the 2022-23 NBA season, the tournament begins on Tuesday, April 11.