There have been mixed reactions this season to the NBA play-in tournament. Some think it’s good for the NBA to keep more teams and markets in the playoff hunt until the end of the season.

Others have spoken out against it, Luka Doncic and LeBron James chief among them. Of course, their teams may end up in the play-in round, wherein other years, they would’ve simply been in the playoff field.

So where does a unbiased observer such as Minnesota Timberwolves coach Chris Finch land?

“I think it’s entirely appropriate for this season because this season has just had so much chaos in it in general it does kind of give more teams something to grasp at here that may have been affected by COVID or other situations beyond their control,” Finch said. “Going forward, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I think if they want to expand the playoffs and give meaning to more teams in the playoffs, then I’d be all in favor of going back to the miniseries, the three-game miniseries we used to have way back I guess it was in the 80s. They did away with that. But the reason they did away with that was to primarily protect the larger seed. It does give us more to play for, but I don’t know. It’ll be interesting if it sticks.”

An argument against the system is that an 82-game season — or 72, in this season’s case — should be enough to determine which eight teams make the playoffs in a 15-team conference. But Finch referenced a stat he saw about how rare it is for a 7- or 8-seed to advance out of the first round of a traditional postseason.

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“So what are we really trying to protect here?” Finch said. “It does add some intrigue there.”

Tyus a pro

Tyus Jones has been a part of NBA rotations since late in his rookie season with Minnesota.

That changed in April, when Jones was removed from the Grizzlies rotation for four games as Memphis tried forward Justise Winslow at backup point guard. The experiment failed miserably, and Jones has since been reinserted into the rotation.

“He handled it great, the ultimate pro, ultimate teammate, ultimate competitor,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said. “It was a hard decision on my part to make that call, and he completely understood. … I told him, the decision I made, he was going to be back in the rotation at some point, and we need him to help us. Since he’s come back, I think he’s been a steadying force for us, as he’s always been. … He understood how he could stay ready to come back when his number was called.”

On your feet

Finch noted Anthony Edwards, for as good as he’s been at the rim, could be better. Included in that improvement would be staying on his feet as he tries to finish. Minnesota has had a number of guys who go down too often when they attack the rim.

Finch said Minnesota doesn’t keep a stat on how often guys go down when they go into the paint, but maybe the Wolves should.

“It’s a good one to start tracking, because it really affects our transition defense,” Finch said.

Even if you score, if you fall down and fly off the court, the other team then goes on a 5-on-4 fast break.

“We addressed it with Naz (Reid) a couple weeks ago. He was trying to sell the foul call, really. He’s been better at it, but yeah, it’s something that we have to address,” Finch said. “Some of it is like if you proactively create the contact in a way where you’re dishing out the hits, let’s say like a Zion (Williamson) does, then you’re not going to be falling down.”