NBA In-Season Tournament 2023 Discussion and Gamethread

the moops

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The NBA got exactly what they wanted, Bron/Lakers, so I doubt they will make many changes to the structure, but how did they decide on the groupings for the IST?

The Lakers & PHX were handed passes to the Quarters with PDX, Utah & Memphis in their group.
The groups were announced in July - which was before the Dame trade, and before the Steven Adams injury. Even after those two things, which changed the landscape of their group, the pre-season win totals for the LAL bracket had PHX at 51.5 wins, MEM at 45.5, UTA 35.5, and POR 28.5

Compare that to the preseason win totals for the Celtics group - ORL 37.5, BRK 37.5, CHI 37.5, TOR 36.5.

That this was somehow a conspiracy to get the Lakers a cake group stage is ridiculous.
 

TomRicardo

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The groups were announced in July - which was before the Dame trade, and before the Steven Adams injury. Even after those two things, which changed the landscape of their group, the pre-season win totals for the LAL bracket had PHX at 51.5 wins, MEM at 45.5, UTA 35.5, and POR 28.5

Compare that to the preseason win totals for the Celtics group - ORL 37.5, BRK 37.5, CHI 37.5, TOR 36.5.

That this was somehow a conspiracy to get the Lakers a cake group stage is ridiculous.
The tournament is literally set up to favor the best teams for the year before by separating the 1-2-3 seeds. This isn't a completely random draw. Conspiracy stuff makes no sense.
 

Euclis20

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There is zero chance Netflix is going to go after [edit - major] sports. Zero. Technically they don't have the right infrastructure fit to do live TV. It would be a huge undertaking to fix their issues with live TV which wouldn't be worth the effort.

Edit - And they just announced they are going to try tennis. It is very different and there are going to be huge issues. That said trying to figure out there system on smaller events makes sense.
I have absolutely 0 understanding of the issues involved, but this reminded me of Silicon Valley:

View: https://youtu.be/9IGvzb-KCpY?si=AwSDGmLqz_t_FkMT


The Lakers were fortunate to get the Pelicans in the semi-finals, but they had to get by Phoenix in both the group and knockout rounds, and they had to beat Indy (who knocked off both Boston and Milwaukee) in the finals. Annoying as it is, they definitely earned this.
 

The Social Chair

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The ratings were pretty solid. Most viewed NBA regular season game in 6 years. 2nd most watched basketball game of 2023 after the Thanksgiving Michigan State vs Arizona game.
 

benhogan

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Beating Indy by 51, & then losing to them in the IST, may have given Jaylen & this group a little early-season rocket fuel.

Jaylen's 18 points tonight felt like double that.

Couldn't help but notice the Spurs (18) & Wizards (6) both ended their long losing streaks tonight against the Lakers & Pacers.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Beating Indy by 51, & then losing to them in the IST, may have given Jaylen & this group a little early-season rocket fuel.

Jaylen's 18 points tonight felt like double that.

Couldn't help but notice the Spurs (18) & Wizards (6) both ended their long losing streaks tonight against the Lakers & Pacers.
It was a LOUD 18. How many dudes has Jaylen put on a poster this year? And imagine if he actually had hands proportional to his height.
 

jon abbey

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The Lakers and Pacers are a combined 2-7 since their meeting in the final here, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The NBA needs to figure out how to integrate this much better next season, for one thing it’s made the schedule a mess for weeks before and after.
 

lexrageorge

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The Lakers and Pacers are a combined 2-7 since their meeting in the final here, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The NBA needs to figure out how to integrate this much better next season, for one thing it’s made the schedule a mess for weeks before and after.
The schedules really haven’t been all that different from last season in terms of back-to-backs, etc. Probably just both teams coming back to earth a bit after hot starts.
 

Euclis20

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The Lakers and Pacers are a combined 2-7 since their meeting in the final here, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The NBA needs to figure out how to integrate this much better next season, for one thing it’s made the schedule a mess for weeks before and after.
The Bucks/Pelicans are a combined 9-1 since losing in the semifinals, are there any conclusions to be drawn from that?

I don't think it's a coincidence that LAL/IND are playing poorly, but I think it's also worth noting that these two teams just haven't been that great outside of the IST overall, not just since Vegas. Outside of the tournament games, Indy is just 7-12 and the Lakers are just 9-12. I think their poor records speak more to the randomness that will be (for better or worse) a big part of the IST results, not just how it can throw teams off their games when the tournament is complete.
 

lexrageorge

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Just looking at the Celtics, Pacers, and Lakers schedule compared with last season. Note that this season started one week later than last, and will end about a week later than last.

Celtics:
2022-23: 23 games prior to equivalent week. 4 back-to-backs. 3 weeks with 4 games.
2023-24: 19 games prior to IST knockout stage. 2 back-to-backs. 2 weeks with 4 games.

Pacers:
2022-23: 22 games prior to equivalent week. 4 back-to-backs. 2 weeks with 4 games.
2023-24: 18 games prior to IST knockout stage. 2 back-to-backs. 2 weeks with 4 games.

Lakers:
2022-23: 21 games prior to equivalent week. 1 back-to-backs. 2 weeks with 4 games.
2023-24: 21 games prior to IST knockout stage. 4 back-to-backs. 4 weeks with 4 games.

And since the tournament ended:

Celtics (ignoring "consolation game" during IST week):
2022-23: 4 games, 1 b2b
2023-24: 5 games, 1 b2b

Pacers:
2022-23: 4 games, no b2bs.
2023-24: 5 games, 1 b2b

Lakers:
2022-23: 5 games, 1 b2b
2023-24: 4 games, 1 b2b

The Lakers had a more compressed schedule leading up to the tournament week, but that seems more due to the vagaries and variances of the NBA schedule; last season, Celtics had played 2 more games than the Lakers at the same point in time last season.

Every team except for the finalists played 2 games during the tournament week, with only the Lakers and Pacers playing a 3rd. The extra game does not seem like a meaningful schedule impact over the course of the entire season, which runs the same number of weeks as last season (just shifted a week). If there was one change they could make, it would be to delay the restart of the season until the Wednesday after the IST, giving every team a few days off and a break from the travel grind. This year, some teams restarted on Monday, including the Pacers, who had to travel to Detroit immediately after the tournament final.