Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem (L) spoke out on behalf of ex-teammate LeBron James when he criticized the NBA’s new playoff format.
The last phase of the regular season games is always stressful for teams that are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoff competition, but the pandemic-adapted schedule, in which numerous franchises in one Competing playoff play-in tournaments causes players to get out of hand at the NBA.
Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem shared his brutally honest thoughts on the play-in on May 4th -Format. These statements corresponded to those of his former teammate Lakers’ star Lebron James, who said, “Anyone who came up with this must be fired. «
Like the Lakers in the Western Conference, the Heat are fighting for the top six seed in the east. Miami faces serious competition for a spot with the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and the emerging New York Knicks in the playoffs and avoiding the play-in.
« I don’t want to be there, » said Haslem. « I don’t want this to be part of our situation as we move into the next phase of the season. I hope we don’t have to end up in this situation. And I think it’s a little silly. I don’t know who came up with it. I am not an analytical type. I’m sure with this and all kinds of data you can bring all kinds of numbers and statistics that say, « Oh, that’s the best way to do this. »
GettyUdonis Haslem # 40 of the Miami Heat extends before the game against the New York Knicks at the American Airlines Arena on February 9, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
In the new format, the seed teams No. 7 and No. 8 play against each other, with the winner being the Seed No. 7 backs up. The seeded teams No. 9 and No. 10 play against each other, whereby the loser is eliminated from the playoffs. Then the loser of seed game # 7 versus seed game # 8 plays the winner of seed game # 9 versus # 10, and the winner wins playoff seed # 8.
“As a basketball player, as a man who’s been in this league for a long time and just saw this league grow and so many different things about this league that got us to this point that we are today, I think That it takes a step back, « said Haslem.
GettyLeBron James # 6 and Udonis Haslem # 40 of the Miami Heat during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center on November 17, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Both 40-year-old Haslem and 36-year-old James had their shortest off-season after playing against each other during the 2020 NBA Final, making the 72-game season shortened for both the Heat and the made the Lakers all the more difficult.
« Especially after the bladder and only after a shortened one Off season to enable teams to be in a play-in, especially people like us and the Lakers who basically made it to the end and here to be in a situation that says we might be in have to be a play-in, yeah, it’s a little unfortunate, « said Haslem.
GettyLuka Doncic # 77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacted after spending the third quarter at the American Airlines Center on April 21, 2021 in Dallas, Texas has been called for a foul against the Detroit Pistons.
While Haslem said, « We’re not the kind of team that will whine about this. Whatever you want to do, introduce us and we will find out. “- Tuesday night’s opponents of the Heat had no problem complaining about the opening format.
Dallas Mavericks security guard Luka Doncic said in April: » I don’t get the idea of play-in. You play 72 games to get into the playoffs then you might lose two in a row and be out of the playoffs. «
The worst part about this approach is that it doubles the burden on the compressed schedule. Instead of playing for a spot in the playoffs and allowing players to rest when the leaderboard becomes clearer, teams need to view each game as a playoff game to either get into the top 6 or stay in the top 6, there the consequences, as Luka said, are enormous. So players play more games and more minutes in fewer days. In hindsight, this approach was a huge mistake.