Skip to main content

The play-in tournament is back for the 2021-22 NBA season


Great news for NBA fans; the play-in tournament is back for at least one more year!

The NBA Board of Governors approved a proposal to keep the pre-playoff format first implemented in last year's NBA bubble for the 2021-2022 season. The play-in will take place April 12-15, the same format as it was for the last couple of years: teams 7-10 in both conferences will play to determine No.7 and No.8 seed for the postseason.

Here are other notable dates the NBA announced for the upcoming season:

• Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (6 p.m. ET)
• Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (12:01 p.m. ET)
• Aug. 8-17: MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas
• Sept. 28, 2021: Training camp begins
• Oct. 19, 2021: Regular season begins
• April 10, 2022: Regular season concludes
• April 12-15, 2022: Play-In Tournament
• April 16, 2022: Playoffs begin
• June 2, 2022: NBA Finals begin
• June 19, 2022: Game 7 of NBA Finals (if necessary)
• June 23, 2022: NBA Draft

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The NBA will have its first 82-game regular season since 2018-2019, starting on October 19. The final regular-season game will be played two days before the play-in starts, on April 10. The 2022 NBA Playoffs will begin on April 16, a day after eight seeds from both conferences are determined through the play-in tournament.

It's great to see things get back to normal. But it's also great to see the play-in seemingly become the new normal. What seemed like a temporary solution implemented solely due to the context of a pandemic might become an integral part of the NBA regular season moving forward -- Adam Silver and the league are pulling for it.

The only potential setback for long-term implementation of the play-in might be the players, most notably, the league's superstars. LeBron James and Luka Dončić are amongst those who have already spoken against the pre-playoff format, and although it seems the majority of players are in favor of the idea, there's a potential for the NBA to give in to their most valuable performers.

Of course, it seems that speaking out correlates with one's potential to wind up in the play-in -- James praised the idea during the bubble when the Lakers were No.1 seed, and Dončić expressed his criticism when the Mavericks were fighting to avoid the play-in spot. The same thing might happen in the upcoming NBA season. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let's enjoy the fact the play-in tournament is back. We as NBA fans love it!

Isiah Thomas & Karl Malone

Isiah Thomas opens up about a surprising phone call he received from Karl Malone - "He almost started crying on the phone"

Isiah Thomas shares what happened when he got a surprising call from Karl Malone, who wanted to apologize for an incident that happened 30 years ago between the two legends

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson

"Then what happens? They’re gonna consider him a bust" — Vince Carter gave Zion Williamson helpful advice

Like Zion, Carter was also branded as primarily a dunker when he entered the league and everybody expected him to throw it down all the time.

Stone Cold Steve Austin celebrates with beer during WrestleMania in 2022 and LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009

"I've forgotten so many things but I remember that vividly" — Steve Austin on LeBron James taking photos of him via flip phone

Stone Cold didn't need to check his social media or the internet as he vividly remembers the King's support.

Michael Jordan in 2022 at the NBA 75th Anniversary Team induction ceremony

“You're a loser! You've always been a loser!” - how Michael Jordan trash-talked his teammate into retirement

When MJ said he doesn't care, he really meant it - even if his teammate once retired because of his cruel trash talk.

Kerry Kittles in 2021 at a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame press conference.

"Mostly they’re talking about scoring and scoring" — Kerry Kittles on today's NBA

Kerry Kittles doesn't like the lack of defense in today's game but admittedly would've loved to play in this era.

Former Kansas Jayhawks player Scot Pollard

“It’s a common expression here” - Scot Pollard revealed the code the Sacramento Kings used for too much dribbling

As it turned out, every single player on "The Greatest Show on the Court" Kings was about team basketball.