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Play-in tourney likely will return

NBA commissioner Adam Silver expects the play-in tournament for postseason berths to continue next season.

Giving his annual state-of-the-association address before the start of the NBA Finals on Tuesday in Phoenix, Silver weighed in on topics including player injuries amid a condensed 2020-21 schedule, the potential for the Toronto Raptors to return to playing in Canada and the dearth of Black and female head coaches.

Play-in events were added this season, with the ninth- and 10th-place teams in both conferences earning the opportunity to make the postseason. The No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies took advantage by making the Western Conference playoffs.

Silver said of the play-in format, “It’s my expectation that we’ll continue it next season.”

He added that the arrangement remains subject to approval by the team owners and the National Basketball Players Association.

The league absorbed plenty of flak for a playoff season that has seen a huge list of star players miss time due to injuries following a compacted 72-game schedule.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley all got hurt in the postseason. — Reuters

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