Luka Doncic has expressed his skepticism of the NBA's play-in tournament, saying that he did not think it makes sense for teams to play entire seasons only to have their seasons ended with a few losses before they even reach the playoffs.
"I don't understand the idea of a play-in," Doncic said after the Mavericks' loss to the 76ers on Monday. "You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you're out of the playoffs. So I don't see the point of that."
The NBA first introduced the play-in tournament in the bubble last season, and the Board of Governors unanimously approved to implement it for this season. In its current format, the 7-10 seeds in both conferences will play a three-game mini-tournament to determine which two teams make the playoffs.
The seventh and eighth seeds will play each other, with the winner securing the seventh seed for the postseason. The ninth and tenth seeds will also play each other, with the loser being eliminated. The loser of the seventh-eighth game and the winner of the ninth-tenth game would then play, with the winner getting the eighth seed.
The Mavs are currently holding the seventh seed and would be in the play-in tournament if the playoffs began today, which is likely why Doncic is frustrated with the format. He said that Dallas hopes to get the sixth seed or higher to avoid being involved with the play-in.