Warriors

Luka, Cuban join Draymond in play-in tournament complaints

Warriors
Luka Doncic Warriors

Draymond Green isn't alone. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and superstar Luka Doncic joined the Warriors star in blasting the NBA's play-in tournament

"I get why the NBA is doing it," Cuban messaged to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "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 worst part of this approach is that it doubles the stress of the compressed schedule. Rather than playing for a playoff spot and being able to rest players as the standings become clearer, teams have to approach every game as a playoff game to either get into or stay in the top 6 since the consequences, as Luka said, are enormous. So players are playing more games and more minutes in fewer days."

The Mavericks enter Tuesday as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. That would have them set to participate in the play-in tournament.

"I don't understand the idea of a play-in," Doncic said Monday. "You play 72 games to get into the playoffs, then maybe you lose two in a row and you're out of the playoffs. So I don't see the point of that."

The No. 7 and No. 8-seeded teams play each other, with the winner becoming the No. 7 seed. The No. 9 and No. 10-seeded team also play against each other, with the loser eliminated from playoff contention. The loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 game and winner of the No. 9 and No. 10 game then play and the winner becomes the No. 8 seed.

 

The Mavericks right now would play against the Memphis Grizzlies. The No. 10 seed Warriors would play the No. 9 seed San Antonio Spurs. 

"I'll be 100 percent honest with you, fighting for a play-in spot does not motivate me," Green said at the start of the month.

Well, that's where the Warriors are right now and likely their only path to the playoffs. If the Warriors indeed to play in the play-in tournament, coach Steve Kerr feels much different about the situation. 

RELATED: Draymond reveals how talk with Kerr led to big scoring night

"Well, it motivates me," Kerr said to the media the day after Green's comments. "We want to do as well as we can, and we want to have a shot. I still maintain that we have a chance to get a lot better and to make a run.

"I realize that as we are currently constituted, we're not a championship contender. I think that's obvious. So, I understand what Draymond is saying. After so many years of being a championship contender, it is tough to look at the standings and say, 'Wow, we're just trying to make it into the play-in stuff.'

"Yeah, that's a totally different deal than what we're used to. But these are our circumstances. This is our reality. But everything matters organizationally going forward. I think getting into the playoffs would be a big accomplishment and a stepping stone toward next year.

"So, I think this is something that should drive us, just with more of a big picture thought in mind."

When it's all said and done, Green and the rest of the Warriors will be motivated if it comes down to this, no matter what Draymond says.

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