Silver willing to explore play-in games for playoff spots

Commissioner Adam Silver is open to discussing scheduling play-in games for playoff spots.

How about this for a change of pace? The NBA is considering following the lead of the NCAA.

Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday that play-in games for spots in the playoffs are great fun — as the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves showed the basketball world Wednesday night with an overtime thriller — and that the NBA might look into making them part of the schedule, not just a stroke-of-luck situation that ended the 2018 regular season.

Silver spoke to the media after meeting with owners at the Board of Governors meeting in Manhattan on the eve of the playoffs tipping off and was asked about the game between the Nuggets and the Timberwolves, which ended up being for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

Scheduling play-in games for postseason seeds is something Silver has seemed to be open to exploring, as has been reported in the past.

“It does open up those possibilities that we can be looking at something more formalized, a play-in-type format,” Silver said.

The NCAA has gone the play-in route for its First Four of the NCAA Tournament, with two games being played before the rest of tournament tips off.

Would the NBA seriously consider going to play-in games between the No. 8 and No. 9 teams in each conference to determine the final playoff spot in both conferences?

Judging from his comment, Silver at least seems open to discussion on the subject.

Conversely, he said there were no discussions during the Board of Governors meeting in regards to reforming the playoffs to include the league’s top 16 teams, regardless of conference.

Silver said the league will continue to explore it, but he doesn’t see a viable solution at the moment.

“Travel issues versus conference issues versus how the schedule should be set,” were the reasons cited by Silver.

In order for the change of format to come to fruition, 20 of the league’s 30 teams would need to vote in favor of a proposal in order to enact it.