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NBA announces schedule for inaugural In-Season Tournament

The NBA has released the schedule and national television matchups for the Group Play stage of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament, set to kick off on November 3rd during the 2023-24 regular season.

The complete game schedule and national broadcast details for the entire 2023-24 regular season will be disclosed on August 17th.

Group Play games, the first phase of the In-Season Tournament, will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays in November. These designated “Tournament Nights” will exclusively feature Group Play games.

ESPN and TNT are set to broadcast a combined total of 14 games during Group Play. The first Tournament Night on November 3rd will include an ESPN doubleheader, with the New York Knicks visiting the Milwaukee Bucks (7:30 p.m. ET), followed by the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets hosting the Dallas Mavericks (10 p.m. ET). TNT’s Group Play coverage will begin on November 14th, featuring the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder (7:30 p.m. ET), and the Nuggets facing the LA Clippers in Denver (10 p.m. ET).

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

NBA TV will provide live game coverage of Group Play, featuring a doubleheader on November 24th, where the Orlando Magic will host the Boston Celtics (2:30 p.m. ET), followed by the Phoenix Suns visiting the Memphis Grizzlies (5 p.m. ET).

Each team is scheduled to play four designated Group Play games from November 3rd to November 28th. This includes one game against each opponent in its assigned group, with two games played at home and two on the road. As previously announced, all 30 NBA teams have been randomly divided into groups of five within their respective conferences based on their win-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season.

Following Group Play, eight teams (four from each conference) will advance to the Knockout Rounds, the second stage of the In-Season Tournament. The advancing teams will consist of six group winners and two “wild cards,” which are the teams from each conference with the best record in Group Play games while finishing second in their respective groups.

The Knockout Rounds will feature single-elimination games in the Quarterfinals (December 4-5), Semifinals (December 7), and Championship (December 9). The Quarterfinals will be held in NBA team markets, while the Semifinals and Championship will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

All 67 games across both stages of the In-Season Tournament will count toward the regular-season standings, except for the Championship game. Each team will continue to play 82 regular-season games in the 2023-24 season, which includes games from Group Play and the Knockout Rounds.

In addition, 22 teams that do not advance to the Quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament will each be assigned two regular-season games (one home and one away game). These games will take place on December 6th and 8th, determined through a formulaic approach based on Group Play standings in each conference (fifth through 15th).

While the majority of these games will be scheduled within conference, there will be two cross-conference matchups due to an odd number of teams in each conference that do not reach the Quarterfinals. The cross-conference games will involve bottom-finishing teams in Group Play, subject to travel constraints, and no team will play more than one cross-conference game. The remaining 20 games will be scheduled within the conference, featuring teams that would have otherwise played each other three times over the season.

Furthermore, the losing teams in the Quarterfinals of each conference will face each other in a regular-season game on December 8th. Finally, the schedule and matchups for the In-Season Tournament have been organized into various groups within the Eastern and Western Conferences. These groups include:

East Group A: 76ers, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pacers, Pistons

East Group B: Bucks, Knicks, Heat, Wizards, Hornets

East Group C: Celtics, Nets, Raptors, Bulls, Magic

West Group A: Grizzlies, Suns, Lakers, Jazz, Trail Blazers

West Group B: Nuggets, Clippers, Pelicans, Mavericks, Rockets

West Group C: Kings, Warriors, Timberwolves, Thunder, Spurs