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The NBA In-Season Tournament: A New Era of Competition.

In the ever-evolving landscape of professional basketball, the NBA continues to push the boundaries of innovation. Enter the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, set to debut in the 2023-24 season. This exciting addition to the NBA calendar promises to captivate fans, ignite team rivalries, and introduce a fresh dimension to the league. Let’s dive into the rules, format, and what’s at stake in this highly anticipated tournament.

Group Play: Fostering Intense Battles

The In-Season Tournament kicks off with Group Play, where all 30 teams are randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference. The grouping is based on the previous season’s won-loss records. From November 3 to November 28, each team engages in four designated Group Play games on dedicated “Tournament Nights.” These games pit teams against each other in a home-and-away format, bringing fierce competition to NBA arenas across the country.

Group Play Draw

To determine each team’s opponents in the Group Play games, the 15 teams in each conference were divided into three groups of five teams via a random drawing. The groups are below:

Western Conference Groups 




Memphis Grizzlies

Denver Nuggets

Sacramento Kings

Phoenix Suns

LA Clippers

Golden State Warriors

L.A. Lakers

New Orleans Pelicans

Minnesota Timberwolves

Utah Jazz

Dallas Mavericks

Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers

Houston Rocket

San Antonio Spurs

Eastern Conference




Philadelphia 76ers

Milwaukee Bucks

Boston Celtics

Cleveland Cavaliers

New York Knicks

Brooklyn Nets

Atlanta Hawks

Miami Heat

Toronto Raptors

Indiana Pacers

Washington Wizards

Chicago Bulls

Detroit Pistons

Charlotte Hornets

Orlando Magic

The Road to Glory: Knockout Rounds

Following Group Play, eight teams emerge to compete in the Knockout Rounds. The team with the best record in each of the six groups advances, alongside two “wild card” teams – the second-best team from each conference. The Knockout Rounds consist of single-elimination games, starting with the Quarterfinals held in NBA team markets on December 4 and 5. The journey continues with the Semifinals and Championship, which will take place at the electrifying T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 7 and 9, respectively.


While the In-Season Tournament is a thrilling addition to the NBA schedule, the stakes remain high for the regular season. All 67 tournament games, except the Championship, count towards the regular-season standings. Each team will continue to play 82 regular-season games, including those that are part of Group Play and the Knockout Rounds. This ensures that every contest holds significance and further intensifies the competition throughout the league.

The NBA Cup: A Coveted Prize

Within the In-Season Tournament lies the ultimate reward – the NBA Cup. Teams will compete fiercely for the chance to lift this prestigious trophy and etch their name in NBA history. The tournament culminates in the thrilling Championship game, where the best of the best battle it out for the honor of being crowned the inaugural In-Season Tournament champions.

League Honors and Player Recognition

At the conclusion of the tournament, the NBA will bestow league honors upon exceptional individuals. The Most Valuable Player of the In-Season Tournament will be recognized for their outstanding performances across Group Play and the Knockout Rounds. Additionally, the All-Tournament Team will celebrate the top performers who dazzled fans with their skills, teamwork, and sheer determination.

Prize Pool:

To further incentivize participation and reward success, a prize pool will be allocated to the players on the teams that advance to the Knockout Rounds. As teams progress further in the tournament, the allocation of the prize pool will increase, providing an additional motivation for players to give their all and push their teams to greatness.

The NBA In-Season Tournament: A New Era of Competition.
Adebayo and Tatum having a chitchat

The NBA In-Season Tournament marks a new chapter in professional basketball, introducing an exciting format that keeps fans engaged and teams hungry for victory. With Group Play igniting intense battles and the Knockout Rounds delivering thrilling single-elimination matchups, this tournament is set to captivate audiences around the world. As the NBA Cup beckons, players will strive for greatness, pushing the limits of their abilities to etch their names in basketball lore. The inaugural In-Season Tournament promises to be an unforgettable spectacle, with Las Vegas playing host to the grand finale. Brace yourself for an exhilarating journey as the NBA continues to innovate and redefine the boundaries of the game we all love.

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