NBA: What is the In-Season Tournament? | All Details

NBA in-season tournament

The NBA, known for its thrilling regular season and highly anticipated playoffs, is set to introduce an exciting new addition to its calendar: the In-Season Tournament. This innovative concept has captured the attention of basketball fans worldwide, as teams will now have the opportunity to compete for additional silverware and a significant prize pool amidst the ongoing regular season. With its unique structure and intriguing incentives, the In-Season Tournament promises to add a fresh layer of intensity and excitement to an already action-packed NBA season. Let’s look into all of the essential details surrounding this captivating tournament, from its format and schedule to the potential implications it may have on teams, players, and the league as a whole.

The NBA In-Season tournament brings in something competitive players will be looking forward to – The NBA Cup trophy.

30 NBA teams were grouped into six different groups (three in each conference), each comprising five teams. These teams are classified according to their win-loss record in the 2022-2023 season and are randomly picked. The first tier is made of teams that were in the top three in their respective conferences. The second tier consisted of teams who made the 4th to 6th seed. Meanwhile, the third one consists of teams who were the 7th to 9th best. Next, the fourth tier brings the 10th to 12th-seeded teams while the fifth tier is the last remaining teams (the worst records). Here are your six groups:

A (West) Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trailblazers
B (West) Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets
C (West) Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs
A (East) Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons
B (East) Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets
C (East) Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic


NBA in-season tournament 3
Photo Courtesy of NBA (via Twitter)

In-Season tournament schedule:

The event, which has two parts, will begin on November 3 and will end on December 9, 2023. The first part of the In-Season tournament will feature the battle in each group, defined by the NBA as a “Group Play” round. Meanwhile, the latter part will be a much more intensive showdown between the best teams who will advance to the “Knockout Rounds”. Below is a comprehensive summary of the tournament’s schedule:

Group Play

As the name suggests, each team in every group will play each other. A team will go up against the other four clubs in its respective group (e.g. West Group A) and will hold two home games as well as visit away games twice (a total of four games).

NBA in-season tournament 2
Photo Courtesy of NBA (via Twitter)

This will begin on November 3 and every Group Play game will be held on the following Tuesdays and Fridays, with the exception of November 7 (Election Day). Moreover, the final set of games will conclude on November 28. Take note that these games will count as regular season games and will impact each team’s win-loss record in the 2023-2024 standings. If, in any case, two teams will have a tie, the NBA imposed a rule for tie-breakers which will be in accordance with the following:

  • 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 the 2022-23 NBA regular season and;
  • Random drawing (in the unlikely scenario that two or more teams are still tied following the previous tiebreakers).

Knockout Round

Moving forward to the more exciting part, the Knockout Round. Although there are six groups, the NBA announced that eight teams will advance to this round.

  • Each group’s best team and;
  • Two wild card teams (one from each conference). A team will be identified as a wild card if they acquired the best record during the Group Play (of course with the exception of the initial six qualified teams), but only finished second in their groups.
NBA in-season tournament 4
Photo Courtesy of NBA (via Twitter)

The first set of games or the quarterfinals of the Knockout Round will take place from December 4-5, 2023. On the other hand, the semifinals will be held on December 7 and the Championships will be on December 9. For everyone’s information, this will only be a single-elimination event and aside from the championship game, all of these will count in the regular season standings.

Tournament Prize and Incentives

There is no official amount yet, but as per the NBA, the In-Season tournament prize pool will be given to the players on teams that participate in the Knockout Rounds. Obviously, all of the 8 teams will receive a reward, but their prize will depend on how far they go into the tourney. In addition to that, an In-Season Tournament MVP will be named as well as recognizing the five best players in the All-Tournament team.

NBA in-season tournament 5
Photo Courtesy of NBA (via Twitter)

Who do you think will be the In-Season tournament champions in the 2023-2024 season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. For more content, stay with us here at Spiel Times. Make sure you subscribe to our push notifications and never miss an update. You can also follow us on Spiel AnimeTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Until next time!

Source: NBA

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