NBA announces return of Play-In, key dates for 2021-22


The NBA Play-In Tournament is here to stay.

On Tuesday, the league announced the competition, which expands the potential playoff field for each conference to 10 teams instead of eight, will return for the 2021-22 season after piloting during the 2020 restart bubble, then being fully implemented for the 2020-21 campaign.

The 2021-22 regular season, per a league release, is scheduled to conclude April 10, 2022. The Play-In Tournament will then run from April 12-15.

Other key dates released Tuesday show a relative return to normal for the league's calendar, with the 2022 playoffs beginning April 16, concluding June 19 (at latest), and the NBA Draft landing on June 23.

The Bulls fell two games short of the final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in last season despite lofty aspirations and the trade-deadline acquisition of Nikola Vučević. Though they'd certainly prefer to break into the top six, the return of the play-in increases their chances of nabbing the playoff spot they covet.

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