Eight NBA teams will be fighting for their playoff lives as they compete in the play-in tournament, with two clubs from each of the Eastern and Western Conferences advancing to the postseason.
As the NBA shortened the regular season from 82 to 72 games due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league adapted the play-in tournament to give more teams a chance at reaching the playoffs.
This season, only the top 6 teams from each conference advanced directly to the playoffs, while the 7th to 10th placers will vie for the remaining two postseason seats.
In the Western Conference, No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, No. 8 Golden State Warriors, No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies, and No. 10 San Antonio Spurs will see action action in the play-in round.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference play-in tournament will feature No. 7 Boston Celtics, No. 8 Washington Wizards, No. 9 Indiana Pacers, and No. 10 Charlotte Hornets.
The play-in tournament format will pit the No. 7 and 8 teams in a one-game series and the No. 9 and No. 10 teams in another.
Afterwards, the winner of the 7-8 clash will secure the 7th seed, while the loser will face the winner of the 9-10 battle for the 8th seed.
The loser of the 9-10 game will crash out of playoff contention.
Putting it simply, the No. 7 and 8 teams have two chances at a playoff berth, while the No. 9 and 10 squads have to win two consecutive games to reach the postseason.
Here is the schedule for the play-in tournament: