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NBA announces group-play schedule for inaugural in-season tournament

NBA announces group-play schedule for inaugural in-season tournament

Today, the NBA released its complete game schedule and national television matchups for Group Play of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, which will tip off on Friday, Nov. 3 during the 2023-24 regular season.

The complete game schedule and national broadcast schedule for the 2023-24 regular season will be announced on Thursday, Aug. 17. 

Group Play games, the first of two stages in the In-Season Tournament, will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays in November.  On these “Tournament Nights,” the only NBA games scheduled will be Group Play games. 

ESPN and TNT will combine to air 14 games during Group Play.  The first Tournament Night (Nov. 3) will feature a doubleheader on ESPN as the New York Knicks visit the Milwaukee Bucks (7:30 p.m. ET) and the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets host the Dallas Mavericks (10 p.m. ET).  TNT will begin its Group Play broadcasts on Tuesday, Nov. 14, when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Nuggets take on the LA Clippers in Denver (10 p.m. ET). 

The national television schedule for Group Play includes three rematches from the 2023 NBA Playoffs.  The reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat will visit the Knicks on Friday, Nov. 24 (7:30 p.m. ET/ESPN) and host the Bucks on Tuesday, Nov. 28 (7:30 p.m. ET/TNT), and the Golden State Warriors will visit the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 28 (10 p.m. ET/TNT).

NBA TV’s live game coverage of Group Play will consist of a doubleheader on Friday, Nov. 24, with the Orlando Magic hosting the Boston Celtics (2:30 p.m. ET) and the Phoenix Suns visiting the Memphis Grizzlies (5 p.m. ET).

Each team will play four designated Group Play games from Nov. 3-28 – one game against each opponent in its group, with two games at home and two games on the road.  As previously announced, all 30 teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference based on win-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season. The groups are below:

NBA IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT GROUPS

             

Western Conference

 

 

 

Eastern Conference

         

West Group A

 

West Group B

 

West Group C

   

East Group A

 

East Group B

 

East Group C

 

Memphis

 

Denver

 

Sacramento

   

Philadelphia

 

Milwaukee

 

Boston

 

Phoenix

 

LA Clippers

 

Golden State

   

Cleveland

 

New York

 

Brooklyn

 

L.A. Lakers

 

New Orleans

 

Minnesota

   

Atlanta

 

Miami

 

Toronto

 

Utah

 

Dallas

 

Oklahoma City

   

Indiana

 

Washington

 

Chicago

 

Portland

 

Houston

 

San Antonio

   

Detroit

 

Charlotte

 

Orlando

 

(*Scroll right for Eastern Conference groups)

Eight teams (four per conference) will advance from Group Play into the second stage of the In-Season Tournament, the Knockout Rounds.  The advancing teams will be the six group winners and two “wild cards” (the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games that finished second in its group).  The tiebreaker procedures are available here

The Knockout Rounds will consist of single-elimination games in the Quarterfinals (Monday, Dec. 4 and Tuesday, Dec. 5), Semifinals (Thursday, Dec. 7) and Championship (Saturday, Dec. 9).  The national broadcast schedule for the Knockout Rounds will be announced at a later date. 

The Quarterfinals will be played in NBA team markets.  The Semifinals and Championship will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with tickets on sale now at NBAEvents.com

The 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.

ADDED REGULAR-SEASON GAMES

Each of the 22 teams that do not advance to the Quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament will be assigned two regular-season games (one home game and one away game) that will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 8.  A formulaic approach will determine the matchups for these 22 games using the Group Play standings in each conference (fifth through 15th).

Two of the 22 games will be scheduled cross-conference because there will be an odd number of teams in each conference that do not advance to the Quarterfinals.  These cross-conference games will be scheduled between bottom-finishing teams in Group Play subject to travel constraints, and no team will play more than one of its two games cross-conference.  The other 20 games will be scheduled within conference featuring teams that are otherwise scheduled to play each other three times over the course of the season wherever possible.

The losing teams in the Quarterfinals in each conference will play each other in a regular-season game on Dec. 8.   

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