The Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies will be taking on each other in this weekend’s NBA Playoffs salvage series.
What is Play-in Tournament?
Because the tournament was postponed because of COVID-19, NBA organizers met and made adjustments to the Playoffs competition. After the teams have completed the last 8 matches of the main season, in the event that the 8th and 9th ranked teams have less than 4 games gap, they will have to fight for a ticket to gain access to the Playoffs.
In the East, Washington Wizards not only could not close the gap but also dropped to 10th on the rankings. The 9th place team, the Charlotte Hornets, has a gap of up to 5.5 games from the top 8. Therefore, Orlando Magic will go straight to the Playoffs.
In the West, the Portland Trail Blazers has a 35-39 record at the close of the main season and is in eighth place. Right behind them is the Memphis Grizzlies with 0.5 games less (34-39). These two teams will compete in the Play-in Tournament this weekend.
Play-in Tournament format
In the Play-in Tournament, teams will play 2 matches. The team ranked 8 is considered to have a 1-0 lead and only needs to win one more game to win tickets. Meanwhile, the team ranked 9th will be forced to win all 2 games. Compared to the rankings, Memphis Grizzlies will be forced to beat Portland Trail Blazers in both matches this weekend.
Play-in Tournament Schedule
Portland and Memphis get a two-day break before getting into the ticket-fighting games. They will face off on the morning of August 16 (Vietnam time) at game 1. If Memphis wins, the two teams will be pitted again around 24 hours later. At the end of the Play-in Tournament, the winning team will meet 1st seed LA Lakers on the morning of August 19.