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NBA In Season Tournament Updates: Teams, Format, Rules, and Prize Money After Wemby vs Chet Showdown
- Thirty teams have started playing in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament
- Six group winners and two wild cards advance to the knockout rounds
- Players and coaches of the NBA Cup winners will each earn $500,000
Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren squared off for the first time in an official NBA game in the league’s In-Season Tournament on Tuesday night.
The competition is heating up, but many still wonder how it works.
Sports Brief explains the rules, format, and prize money of the NBA’s ground-breaking tournament.
The In-Season Tournament consists of two stages: group play, which is ongoing right now, and the knockout rounds.
All 30 NBA teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference.
NBA teams divided into six groups
The Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, and Detroit Pistons make up East A.
The Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, and Charlotte Hornets compete in East B.
East C features the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, and Orlando Magic.
The Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers make up West A.
Defending NBA champions Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets compete in West B.
In-Season Tournament's format and schedule
Each team will play four games (two home and two away) against their group mates. The teams with the best record in the six groups will qualify for the knockout rounds.
Two wild cards will also qualify for the quarter-finals. These will be the second-ranked teams with the best winning percentage in group play.
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The eight teams that qualified will play in a single-elimination quarterfinal on December 4 or 5, with the higher seed hosting the game at their home arena.
The semis and the finals, however, will be played at a neutral location. The championship match will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It’s important to mention that all games in the In-Season Tournament are part of the regular-season schedule except the championship match.
To give the tournament a different feel, teams will use painted designs for their courts.
NBA Players and Coaches' Prize Money
To give players and coaches added motivation for this inaugural tournament, the NBA has set up a prize pool for teams advancing to the knockout rounds.
Apart from the winning team receiving the NBA Cup, the players and head coach of the championship squad will each receive $500,000.
The players and head coach of the team that finishes runner-up will each receive $200,000.
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Players and head coaches of teams that lost in the semi-finals will each receive $100,000.
Head coaches and players of teams that lost in the quarter-finals will each receive $50,000.
Assistant coaches of these teams will also be rewarded. They will earn 75% of their head coach’s total payout, per CBS Sports.
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Wemby and Chet's past matchups
Sports Brief recently examined Wembanyama and Holmgren's previous meetings.
They faced off in a preseason game last month, scoring 21 and 20 points, respectively.
They also squared off in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup Final, where Wemby scored 22.