The NBA announced Tuesday schedule details for the group play round in their inaugural in-season tournament. The Dallas Mavericks, featured in the West Group B, will kick-off their group play on November 3 against the defending champion Denver Nuggets on the road. The game will be played at 9 PM CT, and will be featured on ESPN.
Additional teams in Group B include the Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Houston Rockets. The Mavericks will face the other three teams on November 10, November 14, and November 28 respectively. The two home games will be against the Clippers and Rockets.
If you need a refresher, the league’s in-season tournament takes place from November 3 and ends with a championship on December 9. Teams were randomly drawn into groups of five. The team with the best record in each group will advance, as well as two wild card teams (the team from each conference with the best record in group play games that finished second in its group).
Those eight teams will play a single-elimination tournament, culminating in a championship where the winning will win the NBA Cup and a cash prize. All games, including group play, will count towards a team’s regular season record (not including the championship game).
This is an effort from league officials to inject some meaning into regular season games for teams, and increase interest from fans early in the NBA season — primarily when they’re contending with the NFL and college football. There has been plenty of debate on whether this will move the needle for either grouping.
Either way, the Mavericks will have to beat some competitive teams to make it out of group play. Lucky for them Luka Doncic likes putting on a show when something is on the line.