Joe Paige | Sports Editor
Tonight is the debut of the first ever brand new in-season tournament. Similar to the WNBA’s Commissioners Cup or the Premier League's EFL/Carabao Cup, it will consist of a group stage, a knockout round, a semifinals, and a final which will be played in Las Vegas. These games will be played on Tuesdays and Fridays, earlier this week the NBA unveiled new courts for every team to be used specifically for tournament nights.
Tonight's slate of games will feature 7 matchups. In the Eastern Conference: The Cleveland Cavaliers face The Indiana Pacers for Group A, The New York Knicks face The Milwaukee Bucks, and The Washington Wizards face The Miami Heat for Group B, and The Brooklyn Nets face The Chicago Bulls for Group C. As for the Western Conference: The Memphis Grizzlies face the Portland Trail Blazers for Group A, The Dallas Mavericks face The Denver Nuggets for Group B, and The Golden State Warriors face The Oklahoma City Thunder for Group C. The two nationally televised games will be the matchups between New York and Milwaukee at 7:00pm est, and Dallas and Denver at 10:00pm est.
Taking a closer look at arguably what should be the game of the night; The Dallas Mavericks, one of two teams left in the league still undefeated, head to the Mile High City to go up against the defending world champions. This is a great test for Dallas to see how they perform against a true contender like Denver. Luka Dončić thrives in high stakes moments like tonight, but more importantly he loves to steal the show. Look no further than just last Wednesday when he stole the show from Victor Wembanyama in his NBA debut. Denver are the favorites to come out on top tonight, there’s no doubt Dončić will try his best to subvert those expectations.