The Dallas Mavericks had a very below-par start to the season but now they have gradually made their way to the top eight in the Western Conference. The Mavericks are currently in the seventh position and on any other season, they would have considered them more or less safe to qualify for the playoffs. But this season due to the inclusion of the play-in matches, the seventh to tenth seed will get to play each other to qualify for the playoffs.
Therefore the Mavericks need to finish the regular season in sixth or higher to directly qualify for the playoffs and avoid the play-ins. Mavericks talisman Luka Doncic in a recent interview has criticized the new inclusion of the play-in matches and feels that it has no logic behind it. Doncic said, ” You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you’re out of the playoffs. I don’t see the point of that.”
The Slovenian’s words made sense but he was subject to criticism by former NBA champion and analyst Kendrick Perkins. He feels that the players earlier did not take the regular season that seriously so now if they want to avoid the play-in they should be good enough to qualify for the playoffs by taking one of the top six seeds.
Perkins stated, “If Luka is going to do all this crying and whining, what are the babies in the world going to do? I don’t want to hear all that complaining. The play-in tournament is a great thing that the NBA added because you know why? In the past, teams have taken the regular season for granted. Now, if you don’t want to be in the play-in tournament, win games… Finish in those top six seeds.”
Perkins also went on to add that how the matches in the last couple of seasons were getting dull and uninteresting towards the end of the regular season. But now with the play-in matches in place, the teams will have to give their all to ensure a safe passage to the playoffs and that will mean a rise in intensity for the players. “So if you don’t want to be in the play-in tournament, handle your business and finish in the top six seeds,” he concluded.
The league voted for the play-in tournament as it allows the teams who did not finish in the top eight earlier to give the playoffs qualifications another shot. Hence now teams will have to aim for the top six spots which only increases the excitement and tension. However, recently the play-in tournament has received a lot of flak.