NBA’s In-Season Tournament: A Game Changer for the Regular Season

The Los Angeles Lakers have won the first NBA In-Season Tournament. It won’t be the last event. The tournament was a complete success and an invigoration for the often monotonous regular season. A comment by Robert Arndt.

NBA: The regular season is being upgraded

Rather, the goal was to generate interest in the NBA in the first weeks of the season. For many, the season only really begins with the Christmas Games, also because the NFL dominates in autumn and winter. However, through the In-Season Tournament, banal regular-season games were upgraded and especially accepted by the players.

And that is also the most important point. Athletes are competitors, they strive for success, for victories. LeBron is the best example of this. “Adam Silver is a genius. This thing will work,” James said on the sidelines of the Final Four. He must have laughed about it when it was debated on all the talk showswhether it would help his “GOAT case” if he were to win the in-season tournament. Newsflash: It doesn’t matter at all. Still, LeBron was willing to win this tournament.

The best example of this was the quarterfinal against the Phoenix Suns, when James was on the field for 41 minutes and Kevin Durant was on the opposite side for 40. That showed that players and teams wanted this trophy – and that’s what the NBA’s attempt depended on. The $500,000 bonus is pocket money for the absolute stars (for perspective: Anthony Davis collects $40 million a year) and only a small incentive, but many stars emphasized in unison how important the title was to them.

After all, it is also in the interests of the players: if the competition works, it will bring with it new financial opportunities. A sponsor, an exclusive TV deal and all the things that come with it – everyone benefits from it in the long term. LeBron James seems to have understood this. Also: A trophy is still a trophy

NBA: Cinderellas aren’t just for March Madness

Accordingly, the games were more competitive, closer or even more entertaining on the last matchday of the group phase because certain teams had to increase the score due to the point difference. This caused some grumbling, since this isn’t part of the sports culture in the US (on the other hand, keep playing hard and maybe you won’t get screwed when you’re 40…), but all of this will level out over time too. After all, traditions are there to be broken.

At the same time, the In-Season Tournament gives smaller teams a chance to show off on the biggest stage. That’s the case with the Indiana Pacers, who are really never on national TV. Without the In-Season Tournament, the Pacers would have only had one game on TNT over the entire season, so there were three within one week. Just look at the quarterfinal against Boston again, especially the last few minutes. There was a euphoria around the team that would never have existed in this form in a normal regular season game (and it still counts as one).

Indiana beat the four best East teams from the previous year with Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston and Milwaukee and gave the tournament the necessary spice as a classic Cinderella story; this would probably not have been possible over a series. Only the final was a bit disappointing, mainly due to the very petty line of the referees. However, this can happen in any game of the season.

NBA – In-Season Tournament: Here to stay

The In-Season Tournament will remain, perhaps adjusted slightly. Here are a few things that could be addressed:

The fact that various teams can only watch the group on the last matchday is not ideal. To do this, games like in football should be played in parallel in order to curb the distortion of competition somewhat. Maybe this problem will solve itself if the NBA expands to 32 teams. Some courts were a bit too bright, especially the ones with a lot of red. I’m still of the opinion that the groups should simply be the six divisions, um to better establish the (rare) rivalries within the NBA.

These are all small things compared to the big picture. And this definitely worked and, like the play-in tournament, is welcome to stay. Many games had the vibe of playoff basketball – and nobody should have anything against playoff basketball in early December.

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2023-12-10 10:00:00
#Commentary #inseason #tournament #LeBron #James


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