Hours after Luka Doncic criticized the idea of the NBA play-in tournament, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN that the concept is “a huge mistake,” especially given the tight schedule of the NBA. season.
“I understand why the NBA is doing it,” Cuban said in a series of messages to ESPN. “But if we are going to be creative because of COVID, we should go straight from 1 to 20 and let the last 4 play their way in. This is the particular year to do so, as the 10 games eliminated [del calendario normal de 82 juegos ] they were in conference ”.
“The worst part of this approach is that it doubles the stress of the compressed schedule. Instead of playing for a playoff spot and being able to rest players as the standings become clearer, teams have to approach each game as a playoff game to get in or stay in the top 6 because the consequences, as Luka said, are huge. So the players are playing more games and more minutes in fewer days. “
The NBA’s board of governors, which includes Cuban, unanimously approved a proposal to implement a play-in tournament for this season, after the league used it for the first time before the playoffs in the summer bubble of 2020.
“In hindsight, that proposal was a huge mistake,” Cuban told ESPN.
Dallas (29-24) is seventh in the Western Conference standings, which means they would have to participate in the play-in tournament if they can’t get promoted. The Mavs are two games behind the Portland Trail Blazers, who own the tiebreaker between the teams because they defeated Dallas in two of their three meetings.
“I don’t understand the idea of a play-in,” Doncic said Monday. “You play 72 games to make the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you’re out of the playoffs. So I don’t see the point in that.”
The play-in concept includes teams that finish from seventh to tenth place in each conference. The structure, which the NBA announced in March, includes three games in each conference.
The seventh and eighth-place teams face each other, with the winner taking the seventh seed. The ninth and tenth-place teams also play each other, with the loser eliminated from playoff contention. The “Game Seven-Eight” loser and the “Game Nine-Ten” winner play, with the eighth seed in the playoffs at stake.
“In an 82-game regular season where we didn’t play more than 30 games in 6 weeks, then it could have been okay,” Cuban told ESPN. “But the compression of so many games in so few days makes it a huge mistake. If we had gone from 1 to 16, with the top 12, it would still have been difficult, but there would have been more separation between the play-in and the first. 12. This is a season in which we have to rest high-use players. We don’t have a choice. And that can and will have consequences. “
The Mavericks generally rest Kristaps Porzingis for a game during back-to-back games and occasionally rest Doncic for stretches in the back-to-backs.