NBA In-Season Tournament Draws have been an integral part of the basketball calendar, bringing together top teams in electrifying matchups. These draws determine the groups, setting the stage for intense competition and thrilling displays of talent. You can get the latest updates on matchups, groups, and all the action-packed moments from the NBA In-Season Tournament Draws.
The 15 teams in each conference were randomly divided into three groups of five teams to determine their opponents for Group Play games. NBA divided all 15 teams in each conference into five pots based on their standings from last season. Teams with a regular-season record of 1-3 were placed in Pot 1, followed by teams 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15 in Pots.
Groups and Brackets
East Group A: Philadelphia 76ers; Cleveland Cavaliers; Atlanta Hawks; Indiana Pacers; Detroit Pistons
East Group B: Milwaukee Bucks; New York Knicks; Miami Heat; Washington Wizards; Charlotte Hornets
East Group C: Boston Celtics; Brooklyn Nets; Toronto Raptors; Chicago Bulls; Orlando Magic
West Group A: Memphis Grizzlies; Phoenix Suns; Los Angeles Lakers; Utah Jazz; Portland Trail Blazers
West Group B: Denver Nuggets; Los Angeles Clippers; New Orleans Pelicans; Dallas Mavericks; Houston Rockets
West Group C: Sacramento Kings; Golden State Warriors; Minnesota Timberwolves; Oklahoma City Thunder; San Antonio Spurs.
The in-season tournament will occur during the regular season. Teams have been divided into six groups, with three in the East and three in the West. Teams will play two games against their group’s teams, one at home and one on the road. The group winners advance to the knockout round, along with two wildcard teams with the best overall record in each conference who didn’t win their group.
Group play will reduce the field from 30 teams to eight teams which will be arranged in brackets depending on the points table. The first knockout round will reduce the field to four teams, with the remaining four teams moving to Las Vegas for the semifinals and finals until a winner is crowned.
Teams were categorized into a “pot” based on their record from the previous regular season (2022-23) before the drawing. Teams from each pot were randomly selected into three groups in each conference, based on the following pots:
Pot1: The first round is contested by the teams with the three highest prior-season records in a conference.
Pot 2: Teams with the fourth-to-sixth-best prior-season records are placed in Pot 2.
Pot 3: Teams with the seventh-to-ninth-best prior-season records are in Pot 3.
Pot 4: Teams with the 10th-12th best prior-season records are placed in Pot 4.
Pot 5: Teams with the 13th-15th-best prior-season records are placed in Pot 5.
Teams in their group will play four games each, two at home and two on the road. The group winners and a wild card from each conference, with the team with the best record from its second group, advance to the quarterfinals.
Eight teams, four per conference, will advance from Group Play into the second stage of the In-Season Tournament, the Knockout Rounds. The advancing teams will consist of six group winners and two “wild cards” from each conference with the best record in Group Play games. The group play draws have been conducted and the schedule is available below.
West Group A Schedule
The west Group A schedule includes Grizzlies, Suns, Lakers, Jazz, and Trail Blazers.
West Group B Schedule
The West Group B schedule includes Nuggets, Clippers, Pelicans, Mavericks, and Rockets.
West Group C Schedule
The West Group C schedule includes Kings, Warriors, Timberwolves, Thunder, and Spurs.
East Group A Schedule
The East Group A schedule includes 76ers, Cavaliers, Hawks, Pacers, and Pistons.
East Group B Schedule
The East Group B schedule includes Bucks, Knicks, Heat, Wizards, and Hornets.
East Group C Schedule
The East Group C schedule includes Celtics, Nets, Raptors, Bulls, Magic
NBA In-Season Tournament Draws Group Play
Tournament Nights will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays from November 3-28, with the exception of Election Day on Tuesday, November 7, which will not feature games. The NBA will exclusively play Group Play games on Tournament Nights, which will be considered regular season games for all purposes.
A team will play each of the other four teams in its group in one Group Play game. A team’s qualification for the Knockout Rounds is determined by their record in the four intraconference games. In a group tie, teams will be broken using sequential tiebreakers to ensure a fair and equitable outcome.
The group stage results include:
- Head-to-head record, point differential,
- Total points scored,
- Regular season record from 2022-23 NBA season,
- Random drawing in the unlikely scenario of two or more teams remaining tied after previous tiebreakers.
Eight teams from each of the six groups and one wild card team from each conference will advance to the Knockout Rounds. The wild card team will be the team from each conference with the highest record in Group Play games that finished second in its group. In a conference, if two or more teams are tied for the wild card, the tie will be resolved using the same tiebreaker protocol, except for the head-to-head record in the Group Stage. The calculation of wild card tiebreakers will be based on breaking ties within groups.
NBA In-Season Tournament Draws Knockout Round
The Knockout Rounds will feature single-elimination games for the eight teams that advance from Group Play, starting with the Quarterfinals on December 4-5. Teams that win will advance to the neutral-site Semifinals on December 7 and the Championship on December 9.
Regular Season games played in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals of the Knockout Rounds will be considered for all purposes. The Championship will not be counted as a Regular Season game, meaning it won’t be included in a team’s record or player’s performance in the regular season statistics.
In each conference, the teams with the best record in Group Play games will host the Quarterfinal games, and the team with the best record will host the wild card team. In a conference tie, teams will use the same tiebreaker protocol to break the tie among them.
On non-In-Season Tournament days (Wednesday, December 6 and Friday, December 8), the 22 teams that don’t qualify for the Knockout Rounds will each play two regular-season games.
The matchups for these games will be determined using a formulaic approach based on the Group Play standings in each conference from the 5th to the 15th. Two out of 22 matches will be cross-conference due to an odd number of teams in each conference not advancing to the Quarterfinals. Cross-conference games between bottom-finishing teams in the Group Play stage will be scheduled, subject to travel constraints, with a team playing at most one of its two games cross-conference. The remaining 20 games will be held within the conference, featuring teams that are scheduled to play each other three times throughout the season.
The four teams that lost in the Quarterfinals will each play a regular-season game on Friday, December 8, against their respective conference opponent.
What is group play in NBA In-Season Tournament?
All 30 teams have been randomly divided into five groups within their conference based on their won-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season. Teams will play four Group Play games, with one game against each opponent in their group, with two games at home and two on the road. NBA games will be played on “Tournament Nights” every Tuesday and Friday from November 3-28, except for Election Day on November 7. Group Play games will be the only NBA games on these nights.
How are the groups determined in NBA In-Season?
Teams are placed into a “pot” based on their record from the 2022-23 regular season. One team from each pot was randomly selected into each of the three groups in each conference. Pot 1 had the three best prior-season records; Pot 2 had the fourth- through sixth-best records, and so on.
What are the In-Season Tournament knockout rounds?
The Knockout Rounds will feature single-elimination games in the Quarterfinals (Dec. 4-5), Semifinals (December 7) and Championship (December 9).
Why is the NBA adding the In-Season tournament?
The In-Season Tournament offers a unique competition for players and teams, fostering fan engagement and increasing interest in the early part of the regular-season schedule.