It’s a new day in the NBA and the league is doing all it can to keep folks interested during the regular season.
Last week the league announced the schedule of the new in-season tournament, which was broadcasted on ESPN’s NBA Today.
The NBA revealed the new in-season tournament in June when the new seven-year collective bargaining agreement was signed.
Featuring all 30 NBA teams, the in-season tournament will start on Nov. 3 with the group stage, running through Dec. 9 with a championship game, according to Bleacherreport.com.
The following is how it breaks down.
In totality, the in-season tournament comprises a group of group stage and knockout rounds.
Every NBA team was placed into random groups of five teams in their respective conferences. Each team will compete in four group stage games, with the group winners automatically advancing to the knockout stages.
Additionally, the team in each conference that didn’t win its group but had the best record in group stage will indeed advance, which is referred to as the wild card spot.
But in the event of a tie for first place or a wild card berth, the NBA will utilize tiebreakers to determine who moves on, which include head-to-head record in the group stage, point differential in the group stage, total points in the group stage, regular-season record from 2022-23 or a random drawing if the teams are still tied after the first four options are exhausted.
As for the knockout rounds, they are single elimination, with all in-season tournament games counting to the regular-season standings, except for the championship.
The quarterfinals will be played on the higher seed’s floor before the competition moves to Las Vegas for the semifinals as well as the championship game.
East Group A
East Group B
New York Knicks
East Group C
West Group A
Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers
West Group B
Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans
West Group C
Golden State Warriors
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
The team that wins the tournament championship obviously will receive the NBA Cup, and there will be individual awards, including the tournament MVP and an all-tournament squad.
Players will also be compensated handsomely, too. Each player on the winning team will take $500,000, while the runner-up will get $200,000.
Also, players on a team that lose in the semifinals will each receive $100,000, while the team that loses in the quarterfinals will take $50,000.
Load management, which is essentially players resting with no apparent injury, has been a problem in the NBA for the past several years. With the NBA implementing this in-season tournament idea, it may entice those players who sit out way too often to lace the sneaks up and go full throttle in those games. This should help NBA ratings.