The NBA announced the group play schedule for the first ever In-Season Tournament Tuesday, and yes they are really just calling it “The In-Season Tournament.”
Extremely easy to understand what is happening based on the name, the In-Season Tournament will feature 60 Group Play games, followed by a Knockout Round consisting of eight teams. All of this will happen concurrently with the regular NBA season. Any WNBA fans in the house? It’s kinda like the Commissioner’s Cup tournament. Just with a less creative name.
The top team from each of the six randomly drawn groups will advance to the knockout round, as well as one “wild card” team from each conference. The wild card teams will be the teams with the best group play record in each conference (who didn’t place first in their group). Still with me?
The tournament starts Friday November 3rd, with teams playing in their own markets to start. The semifinals will be one Thursday December 7th, and the Championship on Saturday December 9th — both at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Toronto Raptors were randomly drawn into East Group C with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic. They will have four group games — one against each opponent. Two games will be played at home in Toronto and two will be on the road.
Their first game will be on Friday November 17th at Scotiabank Arena against the Boston Celtics. They’ll play in Orlando against the Magic on Tuesday November 21st, and then host the Chicago Bulls on Friday November 24th. Their last group play game will be in Brooklyn against the Nets on Tuesday November 28th.
What’s on the line? Money. A system that works well in European basketball, there is money to be won depending on how far you get in the tournament. Obviously the winning team will be winning the most money.
The NBA has announced they will also be giving out an MVP award for the tournament and naming an All-Tournament team.
What do you think about the In-Season Tournament? Do you think the players will be bought-in? Let us know in the comments or @RaptorsHQ