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Don't understand the NBA In-Season Tournament? Here's some FAQs for Basketball Novices!

The different courts that represents all the teams. Photo: @NBA
The different courts that represents all the teams. Photo: @NBA

Are you curious about the NBA In-Season Tournament but not a basketball expert? Here's a breakdown of the critical details to make it easier to understand.

1. What is the NBA In-Season Tournament?

  • It's a new annual competition for all 30 NBA teams starting in the 2023-24 season.

2. Why is it being added?

  • The tournament adds extra excitement to the season, giving teams more chances to win, engaging fans differently, and creating interest early in the regular season.

3. When does it happen?

  • The tournament kicks off on Nov. 3 and concludes with the Championship on Dec. 9. Check out the schedule for more details.

4. Where are the games played?

  • Games take place in NBA team markets, except for the Semifinals and Championship, which are held at a neutral site (T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas).

5. Who participates?

  • All 30 teams start in the Group Play stage. Eight teams move on to the Knockout Rounds.

Two GOATS one league- The NBA. Photo: @ NBA
Two GOATS one league- The NBA. Photo: @ NBA

6. What's the prize for the champion?

  • The champion gets the NBA Cup trophy, and players on advancing teams receive a share of the prize pool.

7. Any awards for standout players?

  • Yes, there's a Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the In-Season Tournament and an All-Tournament Team, recognizing outstanding performances.

8. What is Group Play?

  • Teams play four designated games within their conference groups. These games happen on special "Tournament Nights" every Tuesday and Friday from Nov. 3-28.

9. How are groups determined?

  • Teams are randomly drawn into groups based on their records from the previous regular season.

10. Which teams advance to Knockout Rounds? - The top team from each group and one "wild card" team from each conference, which is the second-placed team with the best record in Group Play.

11. What are the Knockout Rounds? - Single-elimination games in Quarterfinals (Dec. 4-5), Semifinals (Dec. 7), and Championship (Dec. 9).

12. How does it affect the regular season? - It doesn't change the regular 82-game season. All In-Season Tournament games count, except for the Championship, which is separate.

13. Why are there "TBD" games on the schedule? - Teams play two regular-season games during the week of Dec. 4, including the Knockout Rounds for qualifying teams. Teams not qualifying play regular-season games on off nights.

King James still making history on the court as the oldest player in the league. Photo: @NBA
King James still making history on the court as the oldest player in the league. Photo: @NBA

14. How can I watch the tournament? - Fourteen Group Play games and all seven Knockout Round games will be nationally televised.

15. Where can I buy tickets? - Tickets for Semifinals and Championship in Las Vegas can be purchased at For Group Play or Quarterfinals, buy directly from the host team's ticket provider.

16. Where can I get the latest news? - Stay updated at

Now you're ready to enjoy the NBA In-Season Tournament even if you're not a basketball pro!

This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a new writer on the MTMV Sports platform. I am a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, dog mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow my writings as I dive into the latest sports news! You can find me on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.


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