How Does NBA Play-In Tournament Work?

Do you know how the NBA Play-In Tournament works? Learn about the teams involved, seeding criteria, and the clash for securing playoff spots.

Oindrila Chowdhury
Written by Oindrila Chowdhury , Writer
Published on Apr 17, 2024 | 06:01 PM IST | 62.6K
Getty Images
Rules and strategies behind NBA Play-In Tournament.

The NBA Play-In Tournament was introduced in the 2020-21 season. It gives NBA teams on the playoff bubble a shot at postseason glory. The four teams from each conference (Eastern and Western) with the seventh to tenth-best records after the regular season participate in the NBA Play-In Tournament.

Play-In Tournament  Format:

Seventh vs. Eighth Seed: The No. 7 seed plays the No. 8 seed in each conference. This is a single-elimination game where the winner claims the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

Ninth vs. Tenth Seed: The No. 9 seed faces the No. 10 seed in each conference in another single-elimination game. The loser of this matchup is eliminated from playoff contention.

Fighting for the Eighth Seed: The loser of the 7 vs. 8 game gets another chance. They play the winner of the 9 vs. 10 game in a single-elimination matchup. The winner takes the No. 8 seed and advances to the playoffs, while the loser's season ends.

In all these games, the higher-seeded team gets the home-court advantage.

NBA Play-In Tournament 2023-2024

The NBA Play-In Tournament is currently happening for the 2023-2024 season! It started on April 16 and will end on April 19th. Next, the first round of the playoffs begins on April 20.


The Eastern Conference games haven't started yet. In the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings defeated the Golden State Warriors 118-94. So, the Kings are moving on. The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Lakers 106-110. So, the Lakers will play in the next round.

Where to Watch the NBA Play-In Tournament 2023-2024?

Eastern Conference games will be televised on ESPN and Western Conference games will be on TNT.

Which team has more chances of winning the NBA Play-In Tournament 2023-2024?

Predicting individual Play-In winners is tough, but we can analyze favorites based on probability.

Eastern Conference:

Philadelphia 76ers: They have a strong chance. They're favored over the Miami Heat. Embiid's return bolsters their offense.

Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks: This is closer. Bulls have a slight home-court edge but haven't been consistent lately. The Hawks won their last clash.

Western Conference:

Minnesota Timberwolves: They have a decent shot against the lower-seeded team (likely Spurs or Pelicans).

Pinkvilla Pulse
Subscribe to our newsletter for entertainment exclusives, star interviews, and the latest lifestyle trends. Look No Further!
About The Author

Meet Oindrila, who loves covering breaking news with a finger firmly on the sport's pulse. Her switch



Latest Articles