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Rockets Jeff Van Gundy/Kevin McHale wary of playoff formats

Jeff Van Gundy (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jeff Van Gundy (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Jeff Van Gundy worried about playoff gimmicks

At the onset of the league’s suspension of play, former Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy made it known that he thought the league should cancel the season. For Van Gundy, the risk was too severe to try and finish the season, especially considering how much we’ve already heard mention of asterisks.

For this reason, one can anticipate how the former Houston Rockets coach feels about a modified format, even if it does give the fans the opportunity to see the league resume. Van Gundy shared his thoughts on SportsTalk 790’s The Sean Salisbury Show.

“I hope that we’re able to crown what’s recognized as a legitimate championship in this incredibly unusual season. I don’t like gimmicks in the playoffs but I would understand what Adam Silver is saying to try to get the most people involved and the most fanbases re-engaged to include everybody in a playoffs.

I would understand that, but that’s far different than me having to like it.”

Van Gundy doesn’t exactly hide his emotions here and it’s easy to catch his drift on what he’s most bothered by. This is especially obvious with the use of the term “gimmicks.”

One can only imagine that he’s referring to the reports of a potential play-in tournament, which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made clear is being seriously considered by the league’s front office. As Van Gundy points out, one of the perks of doing such a tournament is that it would mean that a higher number of teams could resume action.

If the playoffs were to start as is, that would mean only 16 teams would be back on the court, whereas it’s been discussed that a play-in tournament would include teams who currently sit between seventh and tenth in the conference standings, meaning that 20 teams would be return to the court.

We’ve heard that the league is even considering having all 30 teams fulfill a 70-game schedule, which would certainly get “the most people involved,” as Van Gundy phrased it.

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Based on the rapid pace in which the NBA has moved within the last week, it seems highly likely that we’ll have more clarity in the coming days of which format gets adopted. Whatever is agreed upon, it’s safe to say that Van Gundy won’t exactly be thrilled.

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