The NBA has introduced a new way for teams to get to a competitive level at the beginning of the season. The format of this in-season tournament is that each conference will be divided into three groups of five for four round-robin games. Win your group or grab one of the two Wild Cards per conference, and it’s off to the single-elimination Knockout Round beginning on Monday, Dec. 4.
The last four teams standing will battle it out in Las Vegas (Friday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 9), with each player on the title-winning squad departing the desert with an extra $500,000. Prizes will also go to players who finish second ($200,000), third and fourth ($100,000), and fifth through eighth place ($50,000).
All 67 games across both stages of the In-Season Tournament will count toward the regular-season standings, except the Championship. Each team will continue to play 82 regular-season games in the 2023-24 season, including those games that are part of Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.
These games give NBA teams the chance to compete for money, and it will keep their players motivated throughout the long 82 regular-season games that they have to play, regardless if there is a tournament or not. This series of games is so planned out in advance that the schedule for just this in-season was given to the public in August.
These games give young players or players who have not proven themselves thus far to prove that they can contribute to their teams in big games. The in-season tournament is considered bigger with more important games because it gives the winners the opportunity to prove that they can play great when the stakes are high.
The games have started already, and the teams that are leading in first place for their group in the East are the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, and Boston Celtics. The teams that are leading in the West for their group are the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver Nuggets, and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The in-season tournament stat leaders are Joel Embiid: (39 points), Paul George: (35 points), Karl-Anthony Towns: (33 points), Tyrese Haliburton: (33 points), and Dejounte Murray: (32 points). Even though Joel Embiid is leading the tournament with the most points, his team, the Philadelphia 76ers, is in third place in their group.
The team that has been doing the best so far in the season and in this tournament is the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, the 76ers lost their first game of this tournament on Tuesday night to the Indiana Pacers. This was something that people thought was going to be the toughest game for the Pacers, but they ended up shocking a lot of people and pulled out a 132-126 victory over the 76ers.
This is a new concept that the NBA is trying, and it will help them to have more fans engaged throughout the season and have people excited for the regular season. The final game of the tournament will be on December 9th, and the game will be held in Las Vegas.