The changing meaning of being ‘like Mike’

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Stein: As you noted, the NBA has stated that the figures for play-in games fall into their own category. Over a period of approximately 40 days, Tatum had two 50-point games in the regular season and then 50-point games in the play-in competition. But when we talk about his career totals, then it remains two 50-digit games.

On Tatum’s NBA.com profile page, Has a play-in tab with statistics for its 50-point game. Perhaps it is not as easy to find as it should be, but an in-depth discussion of how to more prominently recall the statistics of play-in games is sure to follow if NBA teams, as expected, concept Vote to be around. Play-in tournaments for the seventh and eighth seed, remember, were added on a trial basis this season as only the revised play-in for the eighth seed was used during last season’s restart at the Walt Disney World Bubble .

I have said repeatedly I’m a big fan of the concept Because it makes the regular season more meaningful, increasing the value of finishing in the top six in each conference and reducing the incentive for the tank if the team starts the season slowly. Some league and television network officials regret the elimination of the popular Golden State Warriors and even more popular Stephen Curry in the play-in rounds this season, when Golden State had a record that eclipsed West’s eighth seed in a general Would do weather. Yet it would be a big mistake to focus on how the concept affected a team or a superstar when it gave the regular season a necessary boost.

The NBA play-in will probably never work as well in the college field, where the UCLA men’s basketball team used the play-in win for a run in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament as a springboard over Michigan State. In the pros, the play-in winners advance to the best-of-seven series in the first round. The No. 8 Washington Wizards in the East have a lot of work to do to upset top-seeded Philadelphia, as do the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies in the West against top-seeded Utah. But the benefits of the play-in far outweigh the losses of many years later, in which the regular-season schedule, partly through an increased emphasis on preventive rest, has been continuously devalued.

Q: I understand that the Most Valuable Player Award is based on the regular season, but not counting the playoffs seems silly. Why are none of the individual awards a factor in the season? Wouldn’t doing so help bring more clarity to each race and reduce the emphasis on statistical hairsplitting? – Aaron Schlossberg (Santa Cruz, California.)

Stein: Award voting opens the field for players from all 30 teams based on what happens in the regular season. If the playoff results are taken into account, we will almost certainly see MVPs from only championship teams, and it will narrow other races faster.

Along with the inclusion of play-in tournaments, tying the awards to regular-season appearances adds meaning and value to the 82-game schedule, which is a continuing concern for the league office. The NBA’s long season and the rise of “load management” rest for the stars in recent years have left league officials brainstorming ways to increase fan engagement.



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