NBA In-Season Tournament Preview, Schedule & DFS Insights

November 1, 2023
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James lays the ball up during the first half of an NBA basketball game

NBA In-Season Tournament Preview & Schedule

Just when you think the NBA can’t get more exciting, they drop a bomb on us announcing an in-season tournament to keep up enthusiasm during the regular season. We’ll walk you through the NBA in-season tournament preview, schedule, and format so you can get in your NBA DFS entries for the tournament.

NBA In-Season Tournament Format 

For any fans of European soccer or the World Cup, the NBA in-season tournament format will be very familiar. It begins with a group stage consisting of 6 groups (3 per conference) with 5 teams in each group and will be followed by a single elimination bracket based on win/loss records in the group stage.

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NBA In-Season Tournament Groups

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
  • LA Lakers
  • Utah Jazz 
  • Portland Trail Blazers

West Group B:

  • Denver Nuggets
  • LA Clippers
  • New Orleans Pelicans
  • Dallas Mavericks
  • Houston Rockets

West Group C:

  • Sacramento Kings
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • San Antonio Spurs

Each of the games are built into the current NBA regular season schedule so they will not be additional games to the 82 game season (except the championship teams who will play 83) but they will impact regular season records. While there are many rumors circulating about the impact of the tournament on the playoffs, the NBA has confirmed the winner will not earn an automatic playoff birth.

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NBA In-Season Tournament Schedule

The “NBA Cup” will be held every Tuesday and Friday beginning Friday, November 3 through November 28 before the elimination games begin in early December.

NBA In-Season Tournament DFS Insights

While the best way to stay up to date with the latest stat trends for your favorite NBA stars is the board, we wanted to break down the impact of this tournament on NBA DFS play. 

We all know how annoying it is for us fans to watch our favorite teams during the regular season only to find out their top stars are “load managing” and missing games. The NBA has been cracking down on this more and more in recent years but this in-season tournament is a huge step forward to incentivize top level play all season long.

Players on the winning team will each receive $500K, the runner-ups will receive $200K each, while the semi-finalists and quarter-finalists will each get $100K and $50K respectively. With that much bread on the line plus the respect of winning the first ever NBA Cup, players now have a much stronger reason to play hard in the early weeks of the season.

Even if some of the top stars still aren’t giving it 110% every night since they already have their millions, it’s important to consider how the lower level players will step up across the league and how that impacts their NBA DFS stats and projections.

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While it’s easy to assume points and assists will skyrocket as players play harder, it’s crucial to think of this tournament like NBA playoffs where defense actually begins to step up and numbers can often go down. 

Considering matchups and trends is always important in NBA daily fantasy but when there’s more on the line, that’s everything. While Lebron and KD don’t really need that $500K check, you know they want that W added to their career resume and legacy. 

Understanding how trends affect play is huge in winning NBA DFS which is why we provide insights for every player's stat projections and how they stack up against their last 5 games. Before placing an entry, always be sure to check out those numbers and their matchups.

To view all NBA DFS projections on the board, click here.

NBA In-Season Tournament DFS with PrizePicks

There’s no better way to keep up with all the latest NBA DFS trends and NBA in-season tournament drama than with PrizePicks daily fantasy sports. We’re giving you the rundown on each game and each stage of the tournament so you’re always ready to lock in your NBA DFS entries on the board.

Don’t miss a second of the NBA in-season tournament or NBA DFS action with PrizePicks daily fantasy sports.

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