Mavs star Luka Doncic: 'I don't understand the idea of a play-in'
The NBA expanded its playoff play-in concept for this season after the popular and successful intro in the bubble at Walt Disney World last summer.
However, at least one player in the league is not happy about it.
"I don't understand the idea of a play-in," said Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic on Monday night about ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "You play 72 games to get into the playoffs. Then you might lose two in a row and get out of the playoffs. So I don't get the point."
Dallas Tracking for Play-In-Spot
Part of Doncic's criticism of the play-in concept could be explained simply by looking at where the Mavericks are in the NBA rating.
If the season ended today, Dallas would finish seventh in the Western Conference and be part of the play-in. The Mavericks are currently two games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for sixth place and another game and a half away from fifth.
Once the season ends, the seventh and eighth place teams in each conference will battle for seventh place in the playoffs. The loser of that game will then win the winner of a game between ninth and tenth places for the final playoff spot.
The concept adds an unprecedented level of excitement to the NBA postseason and mirrors that of the NCAA tournament - albeit on a much smaller scale.
But Doncic believes after their 113-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night that a team in seventh place could have an unfair advantage.
Regardless, he knows that there is only one way to avoid this: to win.
"We're just trying to get sixth," Doncic said of ESPN. "I think that's our goal now. Maybe even [higher] than sixth place."
The Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic will face the Philadelphia 76ers in Dallas, Texas on April 12, 2021. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)
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