Do NBA in-season tournament games count for the regular season?
We’re now at the quarterfinal stage of the NBA’s first in-season tournament and it would be fair to say that things are definitely heating up.
The full schedule for the upcoming NBA In-Season Tournament proves that we have some exciting matchups to look forward to. Then there is also the format and bracket which will only add to the spice. Yet, some doubt still remains about how the tournament will run in tandem with the league’s regular season.
What is the NBA In-Season Tournament?
In a first-of-its-kind type of move, the NBA has created what we now know as the ‘In-Season Tournament. With games being played during the regular season, the tournament has featured a number of teams separated into six groups - 3 in the West and 3 in the East - consisting of five teams each. After group play has concludes, six group winners and two “wild cards” advance, i.e., the team from each conference with the best record in Group Play games that finished second in its group. The eight teams - four per conference - that advance will then head into the second stage of the tournament which is to say, the Knockout Rounds.
So, back to the breakdown: At this stage, each team will face single-elimination games for the Quarterfinals (December 4th & 5th), Semifinals (December 7th), and Championship Game (December 9th). If you’re wondering, the Quarterfinals will be played in NBA team markets, while the Semifinals and Championship Game will be played at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’s worth mentioning that the 22 teams which fail to make the Quarterfinals will be assigned two regular season games (one home and one away) that will be played on December 6th and 8th. As for the teams that lose in the Quarterfinals, they will play each other - within their conference - on December 8th as well.
So, do In-Season Tournament wins count in regular-season standings?
Yes, they do. According to NBA.com, every game in the in-season tournament will count in the regular-season standings except for the Championship Game.
Is there a prize at stake in the NBA In-Season Tournament?
Yes, there is. The NBA has introduced the all-new NBA Cup. Additionally, there will also be league honors up for grabs with an MVP award on offer as well as an All-Tournament Team. There will also be a prize pool on the table for players on the teams that participate in the Knock Out Rounds. If that wasn’t enough, the NBA also unveiled court designs for all of the league’s teams. They will be displayed during In-Season Tournament games.