Adrian Wojnarowski: The Play-in Tournament still needs to be approved by the Board of Governors, but that is a formality, per sources: No. 7 and No. 8 seeds need to win once to stay in playoffs; No. 9 and No. 10 seeds need to win twice to move up into field. Tentative dates of event: May 17-21.
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NBA and NBPA talks continue to include the likelihood of a play-in tournament for both the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, a mechanism designed to incentivize more teams to aggressively pursue the late season competitively — and an avenue for the league, players and television partners to create more lucrative revenue streams, sources said.
The play-in tournament proposal has coalesced around the structure ESPN first reported was gaining traction in early 2018: a four-team tournament among the Nos. 7, 8, 9 and 10 seeds for the final two playoff spots in each conference. The tournament would begin with No. 7 hosting No. 8, and the winner locking into the No. 7 spot. Meanwhile, No. 9 would face No. 10, with the winner advancing to play the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the No. 8 seed, sources have told ESPN.
To date, the league’s 7-10 proposal has not been tweaked to include any standings trigger, sources told ESPN. The play-in tournament is meant to be a money-generating media property. Reducing the number of teams from four to three would reduce the number of games, and thus the overall revenue generated by the tournament, sources said.
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January 16, 2021 | 6:46 pm EST Update
Derek Bodner: Doc Rivers, on the James Harden trade and its impact on the Eastern Conference: “I don’t look at the East much at all, or the West. Right now I’m really just focused on us. I hear they’re gonna be pretty good too.”
Justin Grasso: Doc Rivers on Joel Embiid’s setback: “There is no concern… But when something pops up we’re going to jump on it and be smart about this early in the season… We want him to play as many games as we can get him to play but we have to be smart.” #Sixers
The long-awaited sequel to “Space Jam” from LeBron James is only months away, and you won’t even have to leave home to see it. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is hitting both theaters and HBO Max on July 16, 2021 as part of a move by Warner Bros. to release its entire slate of movies in 2021 on its new streaming service. HBO Max released a 30-second sizzle reel on Saturday to remind everyone of that fact, and it included our first look at any scene from James’ upcoming movie.