The NBA"s play-in competition adds a fascinating wrinkle come the end of the regular season and also the start of the postseason. Teams were already less incentivized to tank games down the stretch due to the fact that of the flattened lottery odds denote in 2019. Currently that the top 10 groups in the standings will finish the continual season v at the very least a chance to make the playoffs, much more franchises will remain in the mix for longer.

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Some players, like LeBron and Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic, were much less than thrilled around the prospect of the play-in tournament, yet we should expect part heated contests as teams fight to capture the final playoff seeds in each conference.

Here"s everything you need to know about the play-in setup this season, including matchups, when and also where it"s happening and also how it works.

Which teams are playing?

Here"s a look in ~ the play-in"s opening-round matchups and also schedule:

Eastern Conference (Tuesday, might 18)

Western Conference (Wednesday, might 19)

LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry with the 7-seed in ~ stake? Yeah, we might watch that.Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

How walk the NBA play-in tournament work?

There will be six total games entailing eight groups as part of the play-in tournament, break-up up in between the two conferences.

The teams that complete Nos. 1-6 in each conference will certainly be guarantee playoff spots, when team Nos. 7-10 in the standings will enter the play-in. Any type of team the finishes worse 보다 No. 10 will certainly be in the lottery. Since there is a opportunity for groups to complete with one uneven number of games played because of COVID-19 complications, the NBA will usage winning percentage to identify the standings.

Here"s just how the games will work:


Game 1: The No. 7 team in the standings by winning portion will organize the No. 8 team, through the winner earning the No. 7 particle in the playoffs. The shedding team gets one more chance in video game 3.Game 2: The No. 9 team will hold the No. 10 team, through the winner relocating on to video game 3. The loser is eliminated and enters the NBA draft lottery.

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Game 3: The loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchup will host the winner that the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchup, through the victor grabbing the No. 8 seeds in the postseason. The loser of game 3 also enters the lottery.This method that the groups with the seventh-highest and also eighth-highest win percentages will have two methods to win one video game to knife a playoff spot, when the groups with the ninth-highest and also 10th-highest winning percentages must win two straight gamings to advance.