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NBA's new in-season tournament adds energy to the regular season

A new twist for the NBA is taking place on Friday and Tuesday nights in November, with regular-season games that are anything but regular.
NBA's new in-season tournament adds energy to the regular season
Posted at 4:12 PM, Nov 10, 2023

The NBA is looking to add some spice to its early season by stealing a page from soccer. It's created a group play, round robin tournament on new floors with a new concept. All 30 teams have been divided into six groups of five, according to conference.

Within the three groups in the Eastern Conference, the teams in each group will all play each other on Tuesday and Friday nights in November until each team has played a total of four in-season tournament games. Same for the Western Conference. Then the teams with the best records in each of those groups, along with one other from each conference, will move on with a chance to win the tournament.

Even a star player like the Bucks' Damian Lillard is unsure what this is. After Milwaukee's first in-season tournament game, he told ESPN he knew things were different but didn't know why.

"It's weird because the energy, you can tell, like something is happening, but it's new, so I'm not sure really what the hell is going on. I don't really know what's going on," said Lillard.

Ultimately, those four teams from each conference begin knockout rounds with quarterfinal games starting Dec. 4. The highest-seeded teams get home games. Those winners will then travel to Las Vegas where the Final Four will play in the semifinals before the championship game on Dec. 9.

"It seems like a moment. The court, you know, the uniforms, TV game and all that, but nobody really, I don't think nobody really know what's going on. So we just trying to get to Vegas," Lillard said. 

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