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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban backed Luka Doncic’s criticism of the NBA’s play-in tournament this year.
The Dallas Mavericks enter Tuesday sitting in the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings. That has the team set, as of right now, to take part in the play-in tournament.
Luka Doncic recently spoke out criticizing the fact his team may need to take part in such a tournament after already landing what is normally a secure playoff spot. Not only that, but his team would now play extra games after a 72-game season that was already filled with fewer days off than normal.
Mark Cuban, who approved the tournament, recently spoke with ESPN and said the whole thing is a big mistake.
Mark Cuban joins Luka Doncic in criticizing NBA play-in tournament
“In hindsight, this approach was an enormous mistake,” Cuban told ESPN.
There is something to be said about Cuban and Doncic speaking out now that the Mavericks have to deal with the possibility of taking part in the tournament. Teams higher up in the standings will likely have no problem with seeds 7-10 battling it out before the true start of the postseason.
But both still do have a point. What seemed like a fun idea at the time doesn’t look so great given how teams are packing in games just to finish the regular season. A non-contact injury like the one Jamal Murray suffered strikes fear into teams that other stars could go down as well.
This is still the reality of the season. There will be a play-in tournament and the Mavericks still have time to rise to the No. 6 spot, or higher, and earn a normal playoff berth. They currently trail the Portland Trail Blazers by two games in the standings.
The play-in tournament made sense during last year’s bubble in Orlando. The NBA had to get creative and the restart came after several months off. Now teams are finishing a 72-game schedule that started in late December and face the prospect of adding even more games before the postseason.
Of course, teams in the 9-10 spots won’t complain. They will simply show up ready to win.