Mavericks owner Mark Cuban calls NBA play-in tournament 'enormous mistake'

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Mike DePrisco
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Mark Cuban: NBA play-in tournament is 'enormous mistake' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After voting in favor of having an NBA play-in tournament this season, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has some regrets.

In a story by ESPN, Cuban told Tim McMahon how he believes the play-in tournament is a big mistake, especially in a condensed season. 

"In a regular season of 82 games where we aren't playing 30-plus games in six weeks, then it might have been OK," Cuban said. "But the compression of so many games into so few days makes this an enormous mistake."

Cuban's Mavericks, along with the Wizards, are firmly in the play-in picture in their respective conferences. If the season ended today, Dallas would be the No. 7 seed and forced to play the eighth-seeded Grizzlies.

One win, and they'd secure a first-round matchup with the No. 2 seed in the West, but a loss would force them to play the winner of No. 9 vs. No. 10. If they lost that game as well, their season would be over. In such an unprecedented and unpredictable season, the No. 7 seed missing out on the playoffs entirely isn't out of the realm of possibility. 

Dallas' franchise player, Luka Doncic echoed Cuban's concerns and pointed to perhaps the inherent issue with the play-in tournament: Deciding a 72- or 82-game season over the span of a few days comes with consequences.

"I don't understand the idea of a play-in," Doncic said. "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."

With just under 20 games left in the regular season, Dallas sits two games behind the Trail Blazers for sixth in the Western Conference. So if Cuban and the Mavs hate the play-in tournament so much, getting to sixth could put an end to their ongoing struggles with the idea.

Meanwhile, the Wizards are currently two games back of the Bulls for the final spot in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament. Strength of schedule should help them out down the stretch, however, as they have the 3rd easiest remaining schedule in the NBA.