The NBA Play-In Tournament 2024

The NBA Play-In Tournament 2024

As we approach the end of the regular season, the playoffs are getting closer and we can start to make our predictions for the championship winning team

However, before all that, there’s the NBA play-in tournament. This special competition was added in the 2020-21 season to expand the postseason to twenty teams and give more teams the chance to enter the playoffs and compete for the Championship.

The top six teams from each conference are automatically qualified for the playoffs, but the seven through to ten seeds enter the play-in tournament. It adds some extra drama to the end of the regular season, and it’s proved popular with fans. You can check the NBA betting odds if you want to make predictions on which teams will progress.

How the Tournament Works

The play-in tournament involves a total of eight teams, four from each conference. There are six games, which are split as follows:

  • Game 1s (April 16) – The No. 7 ranked team in each conference will take on the No. 8 ranked team, with the winner then entering the playoffs as the No. 7 ranked seed. The loser will get another chance to qualify later on in the tournament.
  • Game 2s (April 17) The No. 9 team from each conference will face the No. 10 ranked team, with the winner of the game going on to play in the next game of the tournament.
  • Game 3s (April 19) The losing teams of the Game 1s will take on the winners of the Game 2s. The winners will take the No. 8 ranked seed of their conference for the postseason.

Which Teams Are Most Likely to Progress to the Playoffs?

While the season is still ongoing and there are games left to play, there’s no way to know which teams will automatically enter the playoffs and which will have to compete in the play-in tournament yet. Some teams have already qualified for the playoffs of course, but some still remain uncertain over their future for the postseason.


However, based on the current rankings and projections for future games, we have a good idea of which teams might enter the play-in tournament.

It’s looking like the Eastern Conference will feature No.8 Miami Heat vs No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers. Then, there’s a good chance that Game 2 of the Eastern Conference will be the No. 10 Atlanta Hawks vs the No. 9 Chicago Bulls. The loser of Game 1 would then play the winner of Game 2. We’re making the prediction that this will be the Miami Heat vs the Atlanta Hawks, though it’s a tough one to call.


For the Western Conference, the likely Game 1 matchup for the play-in tournament is the No. 8 Sacramento Kings vs the No. 7 New Orleans Pelicans. We predict that Game 2 will be contested between the No.10 Golden State Warriors and the No.9 LA Lakers. Game 3 is then a very difficult prediction to make, but there’s a good chance it will be between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Important Seed Games

While the regular season might be nearly over, there are still important games to play as teams fight to improve their seed and make the playoffs. The Timberwolves vs Nuggets game is a big one, as it could decide the No.1 seed for the Western Conference, which has big implications on the playoffs and the potential success of either team.


On the last day of the regular season, the LA Lakers will take on the New Orleans Pelicans in a game that could have major consequences for the seeding for the play-in tournament. If either team wants to have the best chance of entering the postseason, they need to pull out all the stops in this one.