After previously announcing the dates and groups for its inaugural in-season tournament, the NBA today announced the schedule for the group play portion of the tournament, which will begin on November 3 and run through Nov. 28.
Each Friday will feature a nationally televised doubleheader on ESPN, while TNT will nationally broadcast doubleheaders on Tuesday. NBA TV will also air a pair of tournament games on the afternoon of November 24, prior to ESPN’s doubleheader.
The quarterfinals will take place on December 4 and 5, with the semifinals to follow on Dec. 7 and the final to be played on Dec. 9. The higher-seeded teams will host the quarterfinal matchups, while the semifinals and final will take place in Las Vegas.
The NBA also revealed a few other crucial details about the in-season tournament, including the tiebreaker procedures for determining group winners and wild card teams. The following tiebreakers will be used, sequentially, to determine group winners, seeding among group winners, each conference’s wild card winner, and the overall conference rankings for the tournament:
- Head-to-head record in group play (if applicable)
- Point differential in group play
- Total points scored in group play
- 2022/23 record
- Random drawing
Because the in-season tournament games (except for the final) will count toward a team’s regular season record, the 22 teams that don’t advance to the quarterfinal stage of the in-season tournament will play regular season games on December 6 and 8, with each club getting one home and one road game. According to the league, a “formulaic approach” will determine the matchups in those games — it will be based on the overall standings of the in-season tournament.
Those extra regular season contests will primarily be intra-conference matchups, though a pair of inter-conference games will be necessary, since there will be 11 teams in each conference that don’t make the knockout stage of the in-season tournament.
The losing teams in the quarterfinals will face one another in a pair of intra-conference games on Dec. 8. Additional regular season contests won’t be needed for the clubs that advance to the semifinals and final.
The full regular season schedule for the 2023/24 season will be announced this Thursday, per the NBA (Twitter link).