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Mark Cuban calls out the Play-In tournament for injuries and blowout games

The Play-In tournament brought excitement to the fans but it may come at a cost to the teams.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban

The Play-In tournament brought something new and exciting to the league. It was supposed to be an experiment, but due to the warm reception of the fans, the NBA has stated it will keep the format for the time being. However, Mark Cuban thinks the Play-In has unintended consequences for teams and players.

Fatigue and injuries result of the Play-In tournament

Cuban may be risking another fine here, but he was not afraid to let everyone knows what was on his mind. Before the new format was introduced, teams had ample time to rest between games in the playoffs. Right now, the schedule is compressed due to the Play-In, which results in games being played almost on a nightly basis.

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We’ve seen how it affected the players’ health and performances on the court. Jimmy Butler is banged up, as well as Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Robert Williams. Both series from the East and West Conferences have blowout games. Almost all of the players are battling through some injuries. At this point, the team that could win it all may not be the most talented but the most healthy one.

Is Play-In worth it?

Major sporting events got hit hard by the pandemic, and right now, they need anything to get the fans to watch the games and talk about it on social media. In 2021, the Washington Wizards-Boston Celtics game drew 2.5 million viewers on TNT. These types of numbers usually come from Christmas Day games. This season it’s no different. 

Instead, the Play-In featured NBA superstars battling for a chance to make the playoffs. What was initially thought of as a tournament for bottom-ranked teams became a battle of pride for preseason contenders that struggled in the regular season.

The new format also encouraged teams to be competitive until the end. Avoiding the Play-In has also become a top priority due to the number of games to be played. The reward for hardworking teams is a few days of rest before the playoffs begin, while the struggling ones are given a slim chance of making it.

The Play-In tournament is here to stay, but Adam Silver needs to find a way to get teams in this stage of the playoffs more than a day of rest between games. Unless Silver thinks we want games that are decided in the first quarter. 

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