NBA In Season Tournament: What It Is & How to Watch

NBA In Season Tournament: What It Is & How to Watch

The 2023-2024 basketball season looks different this year, thanks to the all-new NBA In Season Tournament. The inaugural league-wide tournament is set to take place from November 3, 2023, to December 9, 2023. The winning team of said tournament will be the first-ever NBA team to claim the NBA Cup.

Get all the information you need about the NBA In Season Tournament here, from what it is and why it’s happening to the schedule and how to watch it live.


The NBA In Season Tournament is a new initiative by the NBA that all 30 teams will compete in over the course of the month of November.

One of the biggest reasons for the new competition is to drum up fan excitement during the first half of the regular season, after the initial excitement of the first games of the season wears off. More fan excitement, and more national television spots secured, ideally means more viewership – and revenue – for the NBA as a whole.

Another important reason for the In Season Tournament, though, is to add some higher-stakes competition to this time in the season for players. With all 30 teams in play, no team is counted out, and any team could take the prize (more on that below).


The In Season Tournament will consist of two rounds: Group Play and the Knockout Round.


All 30 NBA teams have been divided up into six groups of five based on their 2022-2023 records. Teams are not being divided by their division, although some groups do look similar to their division placement.

Groups for the first round of play do take conference into account, however, so Eastern Conference teams will not compete against Western Conference teams in Group Play, and vice versa.

Each team will play against the other four teams in their group once, with two games at home and two on the road.


The NBA In Season Tournament Groups are as follows:


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Since this tournament is taking place during the regular season, the NBA decided to distinguish Group Play games by having them be on either Tuesdays or Fridays.

These will take place from November 3, 2023, to November 28, 2023.


After all teams have played their designated games, the team with the best record from each group will move on to the Knockout Round.

In addition, two wild card teams – one from each conference – will also get a place in the Knockouts. Wild cards must have had the best record in Group Play that finished second.

The Knockouts will consist of the Quarterfinals, Semifinals and the Championship, which are single-elimination games played on December 4-5, December 7 and December 9, respectively.


The In Season Tournament prize is not only the new NBA Cup trophy, but also a cash prize for each of the players who make it to the Knockouts. The further a team makes it in the tournament, the more cash each of its players will bring home.


You can find the full In-Season Tournament schedule here. You can also use the team links above to see your favorite team’s full season schedule, in addition to their In Season Tournament Schedule.

To get started, check out the schedule for nationally televised In Season Tournament games and information on how to watch Group Play games here.

FRIDAY, NOV. 3, 2023:

New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

FRIDAY, NOV. 10, 2023:

Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 2023:

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on TNT)

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on TNT)

FRIDAY, NOV. 17, 2023:

Sacramento Kings vs. San Antonio Spurs @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

Phoenix Suns vs. Utah Jazz @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

TUESDAY, NOV. 21, 2023:

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Philadelphia 76ers @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on TNT)

Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Lakers @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on TNT)

FRIDAY, NOV. 24, 2023:

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on ESPN)

TUESDAY, NOV. 28, 2023:

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Miami Heat @ 7:30pm ET (Watch on TNT)

Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings @ 10:00pm ET (Watch on TNT)


Fans can watch all nationally televised NBA In Season Tournament games with DIRECTV. Not to mention, DIRECTV has access to the widest range of Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), so you can watch your team play at home, too.

To find your team’s RSN, type your zip code in here, and you’ll get the information you need.

As for nationally televised games, you’ll be able to watch In Season Tournament games, and the rest of the NBA season, on the networks listed below:

If you’re looking for a way to watch more games, both in and out of market, then NBA League Pass is the subscription for you. 

NBA League Pass has every game available to stream, plus around-the-clock NBA TV coverage. Even if you miss a live game, you can catch up on demand and fill your evenings with the best NBA analysis and breakdowns.

You can add NBA League Pass to your DIRECTV account online for the whole season for just one payment of $99.99. You can also pay in three installments of $33.33.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NBA In Season Tournament?

The NBA In Season Tournament is a new initiative by the NBA that all 30 teams will compete in for a chance to win the NBA Cup.

When are In Season Tournament Games?

Group Play games will take place on Tuesdays and Fridays from November 3, 2023, to November 28, 2023, except for Election Day (November 7).

How to watch the In Season Tournament?

You can watch In Season Tournament games on ESPN, TNT, NBA TV and NBA League Pass. You can watch local teams play on your designated Regional Sports Network.

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