The NBA Will launch a brand new In-Season Tournament in 2023/24 which is designed to spice things up in a league which is often stale during the early part of the campaign.
All 30 teams will take part in the competition which is scheduled to run from November 3 until December 9 inclusive.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver believes the new tournament will make the league more appealing to overseas audiences, with the format bearing resemblance to cup events in European soccer.
“It’s not a new concept in sports,” Silver told ESPN. “For those that follow international soccer, there’s a long tradition of having in-season tournaments.
“So we thought, ‘what a perfect opportunity for a global league like the NBA,’ and it’s a perfect fit for our game.”
With a prize pool of around $18 million up for grabs, the NBA are clearly keen to ensure the players and teams take the new tournament seriously.
Read on as we take a close look at the inaugural edition of the NBA In-Season Tournament including the schedule, groups, format and prize money.
NBA In-Season Tournament 2023/24 – Schedule
The group stage will run from November 3-28, with tournament games scheduled to be played exclusively on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The quarter-finals will be played on December 4-5, with the winners progressing the semi-finals in Las Vegas on Thursday, December 7
The championship game will be staged on Saturday, December 9.
NBA In-Season Tournament 2023/24 – Groups
The 30 teams have been drawn into six groups of five. These are as follows:
- Group A: Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons.
- Group B: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets.
- Group C: Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic.
- Group A: Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers.
- Group B: Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets.
- Group C: Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs.
Several top online bookmakers have published ante-post odds for the tournament and list the Boston Celtics as the favourites to lift the trophy.
The betting sites on BettingTop10 rank Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks as the teams most likely to stop the Celtics emerging victorious.
Odds and markets will be available throughout a tournament which is sure to garner plenty of interest with sports bettors as it progresses.
NBA In-Season Tournament 2023/24 – Format
Each team will play four group stage games, facing the other sides in their group once.
The six group winners will advance to the knockout stage along with the team in each Conference with the best record that did not win its group.
The knockout phase will be single elimination. All games up to and including the semi-finals will also count as regular NBA season games.
However, the championship game will not count towards regular season standings.
NBA In-Season Tournament 2023/24 – Prize Money
Every player who is on a team that reaches the last eight of the tournament is guaranteed to be paid $50,000. The prize money breakdown is as follows:
- Players on a losing quarter-final team: $50,000.
- Players on losing semi-final team: $100,000.
- Players on a team that loses the final: $200,000.
- Players on a team that wins the final: $500,000.
The winning team will be awarded the NBA Cup. There will also be an In-Season Tournament MVP award and All-Tournament Team.