1

The players who physically display their appreciation—through head raps, bear hugs, and hip and chest bumps—inspire their teammates to play better and win nearly two more games per season (which is both statistically significant and often the difference between making the play-offs and not).

I know the meaning of play-off:

one of a series of games played after the regular season to decide which teams will advance to play for the championship (= compete to be recognized as the best team.)

but I can't understand the meaning of the phrase below:

the difference between making the play-offs and not

So, could you please explain it to me?

4

According to the Oxford Dictionary

make

6.3 Achieve a place in.
Australia should make the final

"Make the play-offs" = "The team got enough points in the general classification to be included in the group that is going to dispute the play-offs"

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