lady luck casino black hawk reviews The NBA announced on Aug. 15 its schedule for the group stage of the inaugural in-season tournament, which will see the winning team earn the NBA Cup and its players $500,000 each.
The tournament — whose final will be on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas — will see each NBA team play a four-game group stage in November, with the group winners advancing to the knockout rounds.
The tourney will be a proving ground for the league’s newest star, as Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs have more nationally televised games (three) than any other team during this month’s four-game group stage.
So what, exactly, is the NBA Cup? How will the tournament work? Why is it happening? What is the NBA hoping to get out of it?
The group of contenders for inaugural in-season tournament will soon be clearer as Friday night’s 11-game slate will go a long way in determining who can clinch a spot in the knockout rounds.
The Philadelphia 76ers travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks in a pivotal game in East Group A. Philadelphia has to win to keep its hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals alive after losing Tuesday at home to the Indiana Pacers. A 76ers win would open the possibility of a three-way tie atop the group at 3-1 with the Hawks and Pacers. However, a Hawks win would set up a showdown with Indiana next Tuesday, where both teams would be 2-0 and whoever won would be the massive favorite to win the group.
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index currently gives the Pacers a 62.7% chance to advance to the quarterfinals, and a 51.7% chance to win the group. Meanwhile both the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to improve to 3-0 in West Group A, with Utah hosting the Phoenix Suns and the Lakers traveling to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers. If the both Jazz and Lakers win, Tuesday’s game in Los Angeles between the two teams would be for a perfect 4-0 record, first place in the group, and a top seed and a home game in the quarterfinals. Phoenix, meanwhile, needs to win to have any realistic chance of advancing after dropping its opening game to the Lakers last week.
BPI currently gives the Lakers a 77.9% chance of advancing to the quarterfinals, and a 68.1% chance of winning the group. Across four group-stage games, a team’s fortunes can change rapidly with one poor performance. So while the Boston Celtics (over an 80% chance of both advancing and winning East Group C) and Denver Nuggets (over 70% chance of both) are currently in strong positions, road losses to the Toronto Raptors or New Orleans Pelicans, respectively, would change that.
The Raptors, meanwhile, are the only team yet to play an in-season tournament game. Their game against Boston opens their tournament schedule, and they’ll play on each of the remaining three group nights, culminating with a game in Brooklyn on Nov. 28 against the Nets — who have already played three in-season tournament games and won’t play another until that date.
The Milwaukee Bucks (1-0) are in a similar spot to the Celtics and Nuggets, having the best chance of advancing out of East Group B (over 50%) despite having played one game less than the Miami Heat (2-0). The Bucks have already beaten the group’s other top contender, the New York Knicks. Milwaukee’s odds will shift dramatically, however, if the Bucks are unable to win in Charlotte. Teams like the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings could put themselves in far stronger position to qualify for the knockout round with wins over the LA Clippers — who remain winless since acquiring James Harden — and San Antonio Spurs, respectively.
Bucks at Hornets, 7 p.m. ETKnicks at Wizards, 7 p.m. ET76ers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m. ETPistons at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m. ETCeltics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m. ETKings at Spurs, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNMagic at Bulls, 8 p.m. ETNuggets at Pelicans, 8 p.m. ETSuns at Jazz, 10 p.m. ET on ESPNLakers at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ETRockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. ET
NBA in-season tournament standings
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ESPN Analytics projects which teams will make it to the knockout phase of the NBA’s inaugural in-season tournament.
Through games of Nov. 14
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has wanted to implement it for years, for a variety of reasons. Much like the play-in games, though, it took a long time for him to convince everyone involved to give it a shot.
Friday, Nov. 17Kings at Spurs, 7:30 p.m.Suns at Jazz, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 22Bucks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.Warriors at Suns, 10 p.m.
All times Eastern
The first hope, obviously, is that it generates revenue. The NBA believes the in-season tournament can become a significant moneymaking franchise over time because of the ability to sell its television rights — as it did with the WNBA’s version of the event.
The other hope is to draw more eyeballs to the league. The stretch of time the tournament is set within — from the start of November through the first week of December — might be the most irrelevant part of the NBA schedule.
It’s after the initial rush of the season starting, and alongside the college football and NFL regular seasons. If this tournament can bring more attention to the sport during its least relevant time of the year, it will be seen as a victory.
Silver has long been fascinated with European soccer, and the basis for the NBA’s in-season tournament lies in the cup tournaments across Europe. In those leagues, there is a regular-season championship, determined by the team with the most points over the full year, and then a separate tournament (or, in some leagues, multiple tournaments) that runs concurrently with the league season.
Unlike European soccer tournaments, though, which all are played outside of the league schedule, the NBA Cup is built into the NBA’s regular-season schedule. The 30 teams were split up into six five-team groups.
The four group stage games will be played on seven November dates: four Fridays (Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24) and three Tuesdays (Nov. 14, 21 and 28).
The quarterfinals will be played Dec. 4 and 5 at the higher-seeded team, and the semifinals and championship game will be Dec. 7 and 9 in Las Vegas.
Typically, the NBA sends out a full 82-game schedule in mid-August. This year, though, the league only sent 80 games, with a gap in the schedule from Dec. 3-10. Each team’s final two regular-season games will be determined by how the in-season tournament plays out.
The 22 teams that fail to qualify for the knockout rounds of the in-season tournament will have their final two games scheduled — one at home and one on the road — on Dec. 6 and 8 against other teams eliminated in the group stage.
The East teams that lose in the quarterfinals and the West teams that lose in the quarterfinals will play each other on Dec. 7. The teams that lose in the semifinals in Las Vegas will have played their full allotment of 82 games, while the teams that reach the championship game will actually wind up playing 83 games — with the championship game not counting toward the regular-season standings.
Before its launch, one of the biggest questions surrounding the in-season tournament was why any team would be incentivized to compete in it. By making it part of the regular-season schedule, and making every game count toward the regular season — very important from a playoff tiebreaker standpoint — the NBA created a situation in which it is in teams’ interest to win these games.
If this had been set up like the cup tournaments in European soccer, there would’ve been nothing stopping NBA teams from opting out literally or figuratively, sitting all of their top players and getting extra rest time. Under this system, though, they’ll have every incentive to play and win.
To create the groups — which were separated by conferences — the NBA put all 15 teams in each conference into five pots, separated by their finish in last season’s standings. So: Pot 1 included the teams that finished 1-3 in regular-season record, teams 4-6 went into Pot 2, teams 7-9 in Pot 3, teams 10-12 in Pot 4 and teams 13-15 in Pot 5.
As a result, the following groups were drawn:
East Group A: Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons
East Group B: Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Hornets
East Group C: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Orlando Magic
West Group A: Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, LA Lakers, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers
West Group B: Denver Nuggets, LA Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets
West Group C: Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs
The players on the winning team will each get $500,000, while the runners-up will get $200,000. The losing players of the semifinals will each get $100,000, and the losing players of the quarterfinals will each get $50,000.
There will be a Most Valuable Player award for the in-season tournament, as well as an all-tournament team.
Not beyond the games being regular-season games that count in the standings. While there was some debate among league insiders about guaranteeing a playoff berth as a reward for winning the tournament, ultimately that idea — or any other to further incentivize teams — was not enacted. The only playoff impact will come from the wins and losses accrued throughout the tournament.
Because it’s easy enough to change. In the short term, the NBA has said it went with the most basic of titles for both the tournament and its trophy — the “in-season tournament” and “NBA Cup” — as a way to introduce the concept to fans. However, using such bland, nondescript names has another clear advantage: When the league looks to sell the naming rights to both, it’ll be an easier transition from an unremarkable name than one connected with a specific individual (such as the late David Stern, one possibility that had been floated before the tournament was officially unveiled).
*All times are ET
Pacers 121, Cavaliers 116
Bucks 110, Knicks 105
Heat 121, Wizards 114
Nets 109, Bulls 107
Trail Blazers 115, Grizzlies 113 (OT)
Nuggets 125, Mavericks 114
Warriors 141, Thunder 139
76ers 114, Pistons 106
Mmbet99 Hornets 124, Wizards 117
Celtics 121, Nets 107
Rockets 104, Pelicans 101
Jazz 127, Grizzlies 121
Timberwolves 117, Spurs 110
Mavericks 144, Clippers 129
Lakers 122, Suns 119
Kings 105, Thunder 98
Pacers 132, 76ers 126
Hawks 126, Pistons 120
Heat 111, Hornets 105
Nets, 124, Magic 104
Pelicans 131, Mavericks 110
Thunder 123, Spurs 87
Nuggets 111, Clippers 108
Timberwolves 104, Warriors 101
Lakers 134, Grizzlies 107
Friday, Nov. 17
Sacramento vs. San Antonio | West C | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN
Phoenix vs. Utah | West A | 10 p.m. | ESPN
Milwaukee vs. Charlotte | East B | 7 p.m.
New York vs. Washington | East B | 7 p.m.
Philadelphia vs. Atlanta | East A | 7:30 p.m.
Detroit vs. Cleveland | East A | 7:30 p.m.
Boston vs. Toronto | East C | 7:30 p.m.
Orlando vs. Chicago | East C | 8 p.m.
Denver vs. New Orleans | West B | 8:30 p.m.
L.A. Lakers vs. Portland | West A | 10 p.m.
Houston vs. LA Clippers | West A | 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Cleveland vs. Philadelphia | East A | 7:30 p.m. | TNT
Utah vs. L.A. Lakers | West B | 10 p.m. | TNT
Toronto vs. Orlando | East C | 7 p.m.
Indiana vs. Atlanta | East A | 7:30 p.m.
Portland vs. Phoenix | West A | 9 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24
Boston vs. Orlando | East C | 2:30 p.m. | NBA TV
Phoenix vs. Memphis | West A | 5 p.m. | NBA TV
Miami vs. New York | East B | 7:30 p.m. | ESPN
San Antonio vs. Golden State | West C | 10 p.m. | ESPN
Chicago vs. Toronto | East C | 7:30 p.m.
Detroit vs. Indiana | East A | 8 p.m.
Denver vs. Houston | West B | 8 p.m.
Washington vs. Milwaukee | East B | 8 p.m.
Sacramento vs. Minnesota | West C | 8 p.m.
New Orleans vs. LA Clippers | West A | 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 28
Milwaukee vs. Miami | East B | 7:30 p.m. | TNT
Golden State vs. Sacramento | West C | 10 p.m. | TNT
Chicago vs. Boston | East C | 7:30 p.m.
Toronto vs. Brooklyn | East C | 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta vs. Cleveland | East A | 7:30 p.m.
Charlotte vs. New York | East B | 7:30 p.m.
Oklahoma City vs. Minnesota | West C | 7 p.m.
Houston vs. Dallas | West B | 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 4 | TBD | 7 or 7:30 p.m. | TNT
Dec. 4 | TBD | 9:30 or 10 p.m. | TNT
Dec. 5 | TBD | 7 or 7:30 p.m. | TNT
Dec. 5 | TBD | 9:30 or 10 p.m. | TNT
Dec. 7 | TBD | 5 p.m. | ESPN
Dec. 7 | TBD | 9 p.m. | TNT
Dec. 9 | TBD | 8:30 p.m. | ABC
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