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Going over format for 2022 NBA play-in tournament

We explain how the play-in tournament works prior to the 2022 NBA playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets
Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs looks to pass the ball during the game against the Houston Rockets on March 28, 2022 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NBA regular season has wrapped up and that means it’s officially postseason time. The first step of the playoffs is the play-in tournament, which was introduced during the 2021 postseason. Despite some prominent criticism from players and media, the play-in tournament is here to stay and will once again take place in 2022. Here’s how the format works.

2022 NBA play-in tournament format

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The No. 7-10 seeds in each conference make the play-in tournament. On the East side, it’ll be the Cleveland Cavaliers, Charlotte Hornets, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks. On the West side, the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves make up the bracket.

The No. 7 and No. 8 seeds play each other, with the winner clinching the No. 7 seed in the main playoff bracket. The No. 9 and No. 10 seeds also play each other, with the loser being eliminated. Finally, the winner of the 9-10 game plays the loser of the 7-8 game to determine the No. 8 seed in the playoffs. Homecourt advantage goes to the higher seed for each game.