The NBA has repeatedly tinkered with its playoff format during its over 70 years in existence and did so yet again this season after encountering a bit of a hitch back in March that saw the league suspend play for four-and-a-half months before resuming action in the bubble it constructed in Orlando.
A total of 22 teams got the invite to Walt Disney World Resorts, six of whom were still fighting for a spot in the playoffs. After examining the options, the NBA opted to have every squad in the bubble play eight games to finalize the postseason picture, which turned out to be one of the more intriguing experiments of the massive experiment it conducted that came to a close when the Lakers secured the title earlier this month.
Of course, the fact that the season came to an end in October as opposed to over the summer presented more than a few issues when it came to approaching next season. As of right now, there are rumors the NBA is hoping to kick things off on or around Christmas and is tentatively planning on putting together a 72-game schedule. However, according to The Athletic, those aren’t the only alterations that may be made, as Shams Charania reports the league is hoping to resurrect the play-in tournament to both provide a little more intrigue in addition to making up for the abbreviated slate of games.
There’s no telling if the league will stick with the slightly unconventional format it debuted over the summer, which dictated any team within four games of the eight-seed in the conference at the end of the play-ins would get a chance to secure it by playing what was technically a three-game series but which saw their opponent given a 1-0 lead before the showdown began.
With that said, no one really seems to know how anything is going to play out over the coming months so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.