The 2021 NBA draft is widely regarded by experts as the greatest, most once-in-a-lifetime-draft since those same experts proclaimed the last greatest once-in-a-lifetime-draft all the way back in the year of our Lord 2014. A lot of Knicks fans have identified next summer’s draft plus the bevy of cap space New York will have as the franchise’s long-awaited jumping-off point, their most heralded jumping-off point since the summer of 2019 intoxicated us all with visions of Zion and KD before we woke up next to RJ Barrett and Julius Randle.
But what if the Knicks improved enough to make the playoffs? And what if the NBA helped them make it happen?
Adrian Wojnarowski, Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks reported the NBA and NBAPA’s talks regarding next season include the “likelihood” of playoff play-in tournaments. In both conferences, the 7- and 8-seeds would meet for one game, with the winner clinching the higher seed. The winner of 9 vs. 10 would face the loser of the 7/8 game for the last playoff spot. Last year the Knicks were 11th in the East, just 2.5 games behind Charlotte. You’d have to give them at least a puncher’s chance at finishing top-10 this time around.
There’s no word yet on how this re-jiggered postseason would affect the draft. If 10 beats 9 but loses to 8, how does the lottery work? Does 10 get fewer ping pong balls than 9 because they won that one game? If 8 finished seven games behind the 7-seed but knocked them out, are they now considered above 8? All sorts of permutations could play out. Who knows how the league would handle them? MLB let an All-Star game end in a tie. You can’t trust billionaires to know shit; you can only know that when the shit hits, they’ll add to their trusts.
Whaddya think of this plan? Does it dilute competition in a league where most teams make the playoffs? Are you excited the Knicks could have a shot at Game 83? If this expansion’s being considered, is there any reason to not just throw all 30 teams into a postseason? What say you? Say it below.