Do stats in the NBA Play-in count as regular season or playoffs?
The 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament takes place between April 11-14 and will include teams with the 7th through 10th-highest conference winning percentages.
During the short history of the play-in tournaments, we witnessed some impressive performances of the biggest NBA stars of today. Everybody remembers Lebron’s triple-double, the game-winning 3-pointer, and Tatum’s 50 points from 2021. Or last year, in the Nets’ win over the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving scored his first 12 shots on his way to 34 points, and Darius Garland matched Irving’s 34 points on the other side.
We all know how keen the National Basketball Association is in keeping all the stats (player and team) and the clear distinction they make between the regular and playoff season in bookkeeping.
Everything is crystal clear until we realize that the games played in the play-in tournament and the numbers made during are exempted from the official regular season and playoffs stats.
Because the Play-in tournament is played between the regular season and the playoffs, it cannot be framed in any of these two recognized league periods. Play-In Tournament stats can’t be applied to the regular season because it has already been completed. Still, they aren’t added to postseason computations because Play-In teams haven’t officially qualified for the NBA Playoffs, which commence as soon as the play-in tournament ends.
Where to find them
If you want to look for the game numbers made during the Play-in tournament, NBA.com offers stats broken down by “Season Type.” Under that filter, numbers can be sorted by preseason, regular season, playoffs, All-Star, and Play-In.
Although there was a lot of talk in the basketball media that NBA should address this paradox, giving their opinion that the play-in tournament stats should be included in the postseason bracket, as everything done after the season-ending is factually a postseason. The head basketball organization silently defended its statutory decision with a semantic and logical explanation, treating the player and team play-in statistics separately.