The Covid-19 brought new changes for the NBA, the postseason underwent some interesting changes during the disney bubble and the 2020-21 season. Apparently the NBA bosses liked the new format so much that they decided to add it for the new 2021-22 NBA season. The playoffs will be played the same, but for other teams to be able to play in the playoffs they will have to go through something called a 'play in tournament' first.
The Play in tournament will be played between April 12 and 15, 2022, the new format consists of teams ranked 7-10 from the regular season playing against each other to dispute a place in the playoffs. Teams 7 and 8 from each conference will have to fight to defend their positions for the playoffs, they will play a round of three games.
The winner of that round mentioned above gets the 7th spot in the playoffs. The loser of that round must play the a game against the winner team of the 9th and 10th matchup of the play in tournament. The last game will be between the loser of the first round (7th-8th team) and the winner of the second round game (9th-10th team), the team that wins that game enters the playoffs as the 8th seeded team.
NBA 2021-22 playoff format: Does the Play In Tournament affect the other 6 places in the playoffs?
The first six places in the playoffs will have nothing to do with the new play in tournament, the best six from each conference have direct access to the playoffs as has been done for several seasons. The only modification that was made was for the 7th-10th seeds of the regular season.
The Playoffs will be played in the same way as before, a full bracket in the traditional way with 16 teams. All matchups will be under the best-of-seven format, the series will be played taking into account the home advantage for a team with 1, 2 and 5 at home and 7 (if needed). The other games will be on the road (3, 4, 5, 6 if needed).
The conference semifinals will be with the 8 winning teams of the first round, with the best-of-seven format the four teams that will advance to the Conference Finals will be defined to finally close the postseason with the NBA Finals.