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Play-in games conjure tourney feel for NBA coaches, players

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Boston coach Brad Stevens tapped into his experience coaching Butler to back-to-back NCAA championship games to prepare his Celtics.

Steve Kerr is ready to play two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry nearly every minute if that’s what it takes for the Golden State Warriors to get one win.

This is not how NBA players and coaches normally prepare for championship runs. Yes, this is the NBA postseason, but it’s not the playoffs. It’s the league’s new play-in tournament.

LeBron James may not have been in anything like this since high school. For others, this has a March Madness feel to it.

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