2020-21 NBA schedule: All you need to know about the Play-In Tournament

With the unanimous approval of the Board of Governors, the NBA will have a Play-In Tournament for the second consecutive season.

Slightly different in format to the one implemented in the Orlando bubble, the Play-In Tournament for the upcoming season will be played in a four-day period between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

Here's all you need to know about the new, slightly altered 2020-21 Play-In Tournament.


May 18-21, 2021

Number of teams

Four in each conference.

Seeds participating

Seed Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10 in each conference.

To be clear: seed Nos. 1-through-6 in each respective conference will all have solidified playoff spots and will not have to participate in the Play-In Tournament.

Number of games

Three in each conference (compared to the best of two series in 2019-20 restart bubble).

Ja Morant & Damian Lillard


Unlike the Play-In Tournament in the Orlando bubble, the 2020-21 edition will include four teams: seed Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10 in each conference.

Seed Nos. 7 and 8 will only need to win one game to make the postseason, while the lower two seeds (Nos. 9 and 10) must win two consecutive games to make the playoffs.

First, the No. 7 and No. 8-seeded teams will face-off in the "Seven-Eight Game" with the winner earning the No. 7 seed in their respective conference.

Following that, the No. 9 and No. 10-seeded teams will play each other in a "Nine-Ten Game." The loser of that gets eliminated from playoff contention, while the winner advances to face off against the loser of the "Seven-Eight Game" Play-In Game.

The winner of that "Play-In Game" (between the loser of the "Seven-Eight Game" and the winner of the "Nine-Ten Game") will be the No. 8 seed in their respective conference.

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