On Monday, Luka Doncic voiced his skepticism of the NBA's play-in tournament for the postseason, and his comments were supported by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who said that the current format is an "enormous mistake."
"I get why the NBA is doing it," Cuban told ESPN in a series of messages. "But if we are going to be creative because of COVID, we should go straight up 1-20 and let the bottom 4 play in. This is the year particularly to do it since the 10 games cut [from the normal 82-game schedule] were in conference."
The NBA first introduced the play-in tournament in the bubble last season, and the Board of Governors, which includes Cuban, 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.
According to Cuban, the current format puts tremendous pressure on teams to stay in the top six and has made it so teams have to approach every game as a playoff game, rather than getting to prepare for the playoffs. The Mavericks, who currently hold the seventh seed in the West, seem to be clearly experiencing the pressure.
"In hindsight, this approach was an enormous mistake," Cuban said.