NBA Announces In-Season Tournament Details, Group Stage Draws

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Details Have Emerged Regarding the First Ever NBA In-Season Tournament

The NBA has announced the details of its first in-season tournament, set to begin on November 3 and conclude with the championship game on December 9. All 30 teams will participate in the group stage, divided into three groups of five teams within each conference. The groupings were determined through a random draw.

Western Conference

West Group A West Group B West Group C
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 Rockets San Antonio Spurs


Eastern Conference

East Group A East Group B East Group C
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

Tournament Setup And Details

During the group stage, teams will play four games, with two at home and two on the road. These games will count toward the regular season records and statistics. Group play will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays in November, except for November 7, which is Election Day and no games will be held.

The team with the best record in each group, along with two wild-card teams (the second-best team in each conference’s group), will advance to the knockout stage. The knockout round will feature single-elimination quarterfinals on December 4-5, hosted by the teams with the best group-play record. The semifinals and championship game will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 7 and 9, respectively. The championship game will not count towards regular season records and statistics, making it Game 83 for the two participating teams.


Teams that do not advance to the knockout round will play two additional games on December 6 and 8 to complete their 82-game regular season schedule. Teams that are eliminated in the quarterfinals will play one additional regular season game on December 8.

There will be a prize pool allocated to the teams that advance to the knockout round, with the champion receiving the NBA Cup trophy. An MVP of the in-season tournament will be named, along with an All-Tournament Team, based on players’ performances throughout the group and knockout stages. This is a groundbreaking change for the NBA but it does mimic many European soccer and basketball tournaments and by all indications, it will be extremely exciting for NBA fans all over the world.