This is the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, with the winning team taking home the NBA Cup. The In-Season Tournament will feature regular-season games thus giving them additional meaning. The teams will be split up into separate groups. The winners of the groups advance to a knockout round and eventually to Las Vegas for the semifinals and championship in early December.
The groups are as seen below.
Another look at ALL SIX GROUPS before the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament tips!— NBA In-Season Tournament (@NBA) November 3, 2023
Who do you have advancing out of each Group?
Catch Group Play action tonight on ESPN and the NBA App. pic.twitter.com/bUlHPO4Kc4
Amin points out that the league tagged each team based on how they finished during the 2022-23 season. In each group, each team plays four games. The winners of those groups advance to the knockout stage, along with two wild cards based on a series of tiebreakers which could include:
- Head-to-head record in the group stage
- Point differential in the group stage
- Total points scored in the group stage
- Regular season record from 2022-23
- If still tied, a random draw
Amin says this concept should be familiar to those who have watched things like the FIBA World Cup, Olympics or soccer World Cup and will mean that even if a team is up 20 points they may not want to take their foot off the gas. As, he points out, if you’re not winning your group you’re incentivized to keep going as hard as you can.
Charlotte says she likes this and thinks it will make these games really fun. She says she’s excited to see the various court designs that will be introduced, specifically her beloved Celtics. Each team will have its own special In-Season Tournament court.
The action in the In-Season Tournament starts TONIGHT and continues every week on Tuesdays and Fridays, with all games being tournament games but still counting toward regular-season records and statistics.
The last day of group play will be November 28, with the quarterfinals going down from the team’s home sites on December 4-5, before the action moves to Las Vegas and T-Mobile Arena for the semifinals on December 7 and the In-Season Tournament Championship on December 9. As Amin points out, this is a single-elimination tournament in the knockout rounds, so there’s little room for error and plenty of volatility at play.
New stakes. New drama.— NBA In-Season Tournament (@NBA) November 3, 2023
Go inside the first-ever NBA In-Season Tournament with the new 9-part series ‘Race for the NBA Cup’, on the NBA App!
Watch episodes 1 & 2 now ➡ https://t.co/6cky7NNTvU pic.twitter.com/HmzqFCwouU
At the conclusion of the tournament, the league will name an All-Tournament Team and MVP and there will be a prize pool, with money going to every team depending on how far they go in the tournament. Amin thinks all of this will lead to some competitive play. And as Charlotte says, even if you’re making big money there’s certainly nothing wrong with an additional $500K in your pocket!
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