NBA season finale race draws fan attention and forces teams to keep competing
Despite dissenting voices regarding the play-in in the regular season finale of the NBAThe new mini-competition that the league has launched seems to be already bearing fruit.
Either by reaching or not leaving the final places, or by not having to participate in the play-in, the teams have been pushing in the final stretch.
For May 16, the final day of the regular season, we will get to know the participants of the qualifying tournament that will take place from May 18 to 21, to later officially start the first round of playoffs on the 22 of this month .
The Western Conference It is where more has been said about this particular. Luka Doncic, Mark Cuban, LeBron James They are among those who have expressed their discontent, and it is no coincidence that they are from teams that have been or are in the middle of the fight for better positions in the standings.
In a certain part of the season, Dallas Mavericks It seemed that he would have to participate in the play although to date he is in fifth position.
In case of Los angeles lakers it is more complicated since they are the champions and they could be out after one or two games, depending on how they finish in the table. Lesions of LeBron James Y Anthony Davis They arrived at the worst time and the team knows the risk they are in.
This has been taken advantage of by Portland Trailblazers who are sixth and would qualify for the playoffs directly, and by the Golden State Wariors who have crept up to eighth.
Fans are already starting to salivate over a possible duel between Stephen Curry and LeBron (if he’s healthy) in a play-in game, a scenario that didn’t seem plausible at the start of the season. The downside would be to lose one of these two teams, among the most followed in the league, for the postseason.
And even the players themselves find it funny, as Anthony Davis put it. “It is the first time we have faced a challenge like this. It’s a different challenge for us (Lakers)“said downtown Los Angeles. A fun challenge.
Meanwhile Memphis, San Antonio, New Orleans and Sacramento are all battling to make the play-in with one week remaining in the regular season.
On the other side, the Eastern Conference also has its drama with only 5 difference games between ninth and twelfth with Washington, Indiana, Chicago and Toronto seeking a spot.
So at least from the beginning the play-in is serving the purpose that some teams have to fight in the final stretch of the regular season and gives the fan an additional tournament within all the action of the season, and although an evaluation and perhaps changes will come, everything seems to be an idea that is here to stay.