Mavericks' Mark Cuban calls NBA's play-in tourney 'enormous mistake'
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Dallas Mavericks team governor Mark Cuban isn’t a fan of the NBA’s play-in tournament — and neither is his star player.
After the team’s loss on Monday, superstar Luka Doncic explained his reasoning as to why he doesn’t like it. He said that he doesn’t understand the idea of it.
“You play 72 games to get in 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,” Doncic said.
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In an interview with ESPN, Cuban piggybacked off Doncic’s comments by saying it was “an enormous mistake” especially since the season was condensed to only 72 games, instead of its typical 82-game schedule.
“I get why the NBA is doing it,” Cuban elaborated. “But if we are going to be creative because of COVID, we should go straight up 1 to 20 and let the bottom four play in. This is the year particularly to do it since the 10 games cut [from the normal 82-game schedule] were in conference.”
The reason why Cuban doesn’t like the idea is because of the compressed schedule. The Mavericks are currently the seventh seed in the Western Conference, and if the season were to end today, they would play a one-game playoff against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are currently the eighth seed.
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If the Mavericks win that game, they would enter the playoffs as the seventh seed. But if they lose, they would host the winner of the game between the ninth-seeded San Antonio Spurs and 10th-seeded Golden State Warriors in a win-or-go-home matchup. The winner of that game would be the eighth seed in the playoffs.
“Players are playing more games and more minutes in fewer days,” Cuban stressed.
Cuban, who is also a part of the league’s board of governors, says that this is a season where teams have to rest high-usage players because they “have no choice” and he believes “that can and will have consequences.”
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The NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved the play-in tournament this season, but Cuban still believes in the wake of the decision that it was a mistake.
“In a regular season of 82 games where we aren’t playing 30-plus games in six weeks, then it might have been OK,” Cuban said. “But the compression of so many games into so few days makes this an enormous mistake. “If we had gone 1 to 16, with the top 12 in, it still would have been rough, but there would have been more separation between play-in and the top 12.”
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