2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Update


The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament is rolling along and we’re going to update readers on the progress. We’ve almost reached the semifinals and the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament will end on Saturday.

No one was sure how the NBA In-Season Tournament would play out. Was it going to be a gimmick that fans didn’t care about or would it increase viewership during the NBA’s regular season dead zone?

You have to give Adam Silver credit for tweaking the regular season. Some of the numbers are in and it’s clear that NBA viewership has increased as the NBA In-Season Tournament has progressed.

NBA In-Season Tournament Bracket Update

You can read our In-Season NBA Tournament betting guide to learn more about the format.

The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament entered the knockout stage on Monday. The knockout stage will feature single-elimination games until the NBA In-Season Tournament champion is crowned.

Here were the four quarterfinals matchups:

  • Indiana Pacers (#2) vs. Boston Celtics (#3)
  • Sacramento Kings (#2) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (#3)
  • Milwaukee Bucks (#1) vs. New York Knicks (#4)
  • Los Angeles Lakers (#1) vs. Phoenix Suns (#4)

Indiana eliminated Boston and New Orleans eliminated Sacramento on Monday night.

The Pacers closed as +4.5 underdogs, but pulled off the upset, winning 122-112. The Pacers utilized a nine player rotation and seven players scored in the double-digits. Tyrese Haliburton had a triple-double (26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists). Indiana shot 47.5% on three-pointers (19/40).

The Pelicans were also underdogs (+3.5), but ended up winning. Zion Williamson only played 28 minutes and scored 10 points, but Brandon Ingram scored 30 points in the win on efficient shooting. They were also hot from beyond the arc, as they shot 45.2% on three-pointers (14/31).

Who Made the NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals

Two teams have advanced to the NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals. The final two quarterfinals are tonight (December 5th 2023). The winners will advance to the semifinals on Thursday night.

Here are the two semifinals matchups:

  • TBD vs. New Orleans Pelicans (#3)
  • TBD vs. Indiana Pacers (#2)

Tune in to TNT tonight to watch the last two quarterfinals games.

The Bucks are favored (-5) against the Knicks and the Lakers are favored (-1.5) against the Suns. With both underdogs winning last night in the NBA In-Season Tournament, I expect at least one to win tonight.

When Is the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship

The 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament Championship is this Saturday (December 9th 2023). With the end of the NBA In-Season Tournament nearing, I expect players to treat these as playoff games.

An extra $500,000 would definitely help some of the guys on these rosters.

Here’s the NBA In-Season Tournament Championship matchup:

  • TBD vs. TBD

The Bucks (+270) have the best odds to win the NBA In-Season Tournament. Here are the rest of the odds: Pelicans (+400), Pacers (+450), Lakers (+450), Suns (+500) and Knicks (+800).

2023 NBA In-Season Tournament MVP Update

Here are the updated NBA In-Season Tournament MVP odds:

  • Tyrese Haliburton (+450)
  • Brandon Ingram (+450)
  • LeBron James (+650)
  • Damian Lillard (+650)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (+700)
  • Kevin Durant (+850)
  • Devin Booker (+1100)
  • Zion Williamson (+1400)
  • Anthony Davis (+1400)
  • Jalen Brunson (+2000)
  • Julius Randle (+3000)
  • Bennedict Mathurin (+8000)
  • Myles Turner (+8000)
  • Austin Reaves (+10000)
  • RJ Barrett (+15000)

Haliburton is averaging 28.0 PPG and 13.4 APG in the NBA In-Season Tournament. Ingram is averaging 27.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 6.2 APG in the tournament. These two are favored to win the MVP, but it’ll likely come down to which team wins the Championship. I expect the MVP to be from the winning team.

James is averaging 25.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 7.5 APG in the NBA In-Season Tournament. He’s still in the running for the MVP award. If he puts up big numbers tonight, he could become the favorite.

NBA In-Season Tournament Trophies Unveiled

The NBA Cup will be awarded to the winning team and was unveiled back in July. However, the NBA just unveiled the rest of the trophies up for grabs on Monday, December 4th 2023.

All of the trophies were designed by Victor Solomon. Tiffany & Co. contributed to some of the designs.

The NBA Cup and In-Season Tournament MVP Trophy were both handcrafted at the Tiffany hollowware workshop in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Both trophies are black and gold.

The NBA In-Season Tournament medals will be awarded to each player on the winning team. There are also NBA In-Season Tournament All-Tournament Team Trophies, which will be awarded to each player that makes the All-Tournament Team, which will be voted on by a panel of media members.

The All-Tournament Team Trophies look great. The trophy is a solid black crystal basketball with gold.

Has the NBA In-Season Tournament Been a Success

In my opinion, the NBA In-Season Tournament has been a success. The players are taking it seriously and have bought into the tournament for varying reasons. For some players, the $500,000 is enticing, while other players have stated that the tournament is a way to gain more exposure.

According to data released by Forbes, tournament games are averaging 1.5 million viewers on ESPN and TNT, which is a 26% increase from games played around the same time last season. Locally broadcasted games are up 20% as well. In November, NBA games averaged 1.52 million viewers (ESPN) and 1.43 million viewers (TNT), which was up 20% and 16% respectively. NBA viewership has increased.

The NBA had to try something to increase viewership during November and December. Players and fans have both bought into the NBA In-Season Tournament. With the tournament winding down, I expect the ratings for the semifinals and Championship game to be much higher than a typical regular season game.

While I would consider the 2023 NBA In-Season Tournament to be a success, we’ll need to see how the ratings are in upcoming seasons. Will this tournament continue to increase viewership during the months of November and December or will the novelty wear off and ratings drop off again?

Only time will tell, but the tournament has been a nice distraction for NBA fans.