What is the NBA in-season tournament?
The GIST: The NBA is following in the WNBA’s footsteps with the tip-off of a brand new in-season tournament, the NBA Cup, featuring cash prizes, refreshed court designs, and all-important bragging rights on the line. More hoops? Yes, please.
The context: Amid concerns about load management for star players and lack of early season engagement (from players and fans alike), the NBA introduced the fun new format this year, placing an emphasis on games earlier in the schedule.
- Plus, the league is due for a new media rights deal in two years, making any additional extras all the more intriguing.
How it works: Based on last season’s record, all 30 teams were randomly divided into six five-team groups within their conference. Beginning tonight and running through November 28th, each team will compete in four Group Play games on specific “Tournament Nights,” with each squad playing two home games and two on the road.
- Eight teams will advance to the single-elimination Knockout Rounds, which begin with the quarter-finals on December 4th, culminating with the Championship game on December 9th in Las Vegas. The stakes are high, afterall.
Tonight’s games: It all begins with tonight’s septuple-header, tipping off at 7 p.m. ET and running late into the night. But there are only so many screens to go around, so don’t miss the NY Knicks vs. the loaded Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the undefeated Dallas Mavericks vs. the reigning champion Denver Nuggets at 10 p.m. ET. Let the games begin.