What is the NBA In-Season Tournament? 2023 Bracket, groups, format, NBA Cup explained

The inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament tipped off on Friday, Nov. 3. Check out the complete details for the tournament including format, prize and groups.

What is the NBA In-Season Tournament?

The NBA In-Season Tournament is a tournament that will take place during the regular season and feature all 30 NBA teams competing for a new championship title. The goal is to provide additional excitement and engagement for fans, especially during the early part of the regular season which has suffered in recent years, as well as create new revenue streams for the league.

[2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Schedule: How to watch, dates]

NBA In-Season Tournament Format

The tournament will be divided into six pools with five teams apiece, and pools will consist of teams within the same conference, but not necessarily the same division. Teams will play four group games, matching up with each team in their pool once, with winners advancing to a single-elimination stage.


Each squad will have 80 games on their initial regular-season schedule, while those who don’t qualify for elimination games in the tournament will have two more games added. The two teams who compete for the championship will play 83 total regular-season games. In addition, statistics for the games will count towards regular season totals, aside from the championship game.

The tournament begins on Nov. 3, with the championship game coming on Dec. 9. The “Final Four” will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada at the top of December.

[Related: NBA releases bold new home courts for inaugural in-season tournament]

NBA In-Season Tournament Prize

Players who are part of the championship team will receive a $500,000 bonus and the team wins the new NBA Cup.

There will also be a Most Valuable Player award for the in-season tournament and an all-tournament team.

[2023 NBA odds: Bucks, Celtics co-favorites for first in-season tourney]

NBA In-Season Tournament Bracket & Groups

Here are the six pools:

WEST GROUP A (Record, Point differential)

  1. Los Angeles Lakers (3-0) +42
  2. Utah Jazz (2-1) +19
  3. Phoenix Suns (1-1) 0
  4. Portland Trail Blazers (1-2) -26
  5. Memphis Grizzlies (0-3) -35


  1. New Orleans Pelicans (2-1) +23
  2. Denver Nuggets (2-1) +9
  3. Houston Rockets (1-1) -3
  4. Dallas Mavericks (1-2) -14
  5. LA Clippers (1-2) -15


  1. Sacramento Kings (2-0) +16
  2. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-0) +10
  3. Golden State Warriors (1-1) -1
  4. Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2) +27
  5. San Antonio Spurs (0-3) -52


  1. Indiana Pacers (2-0) +11
  2. Philadelphia 76ers (2-1) +12
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers (1-1) +3
  4. Atlanta Hawks (1-1) -4
  5. Detroit Pistons (0-3) -22


  1. Milwaukee Bucks (2-0) +36
  2. Miami Heat (2-0) +13
  3. New York Knicks (1-1) +16
  4. Charlotte Hornets (1-2) -30
  5. Washington Wizards (0-3) -35


  1. Boston Celtics (2-0) +17
  2. Brooklyn Nets (2-1) +8
  3. Orlando Magic (1-1) -14
  4. Toronto Raptors (0-1) -3
  5. Chicago Bulls (0-2) -8


No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs No. 4 Minnesota Timberwolves

No. 2 Sacramento Kings vs. No. 3 New Orleans Pelicans


No.1 Milwaukee Bucks vs No. 4 Miami Heat

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 3 Indiana Pacers

The winner of each pool plus one wild-card team will advance to a single-elimination bracket stage.

Quarterfinals – Dec. 4-5

Semifinals – Dec. 7 

Championship – Dec. 9

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