The Hawks will play each club once, facing the Cavaliers, Pacers, Pistons and 76ers, with two coming at home at State Farm Arena while the other two will be played on the road.
It’s a strange attempt by the NBA to improve viewership during the regular season. The Association’s ratings during the regular season have been pitiful because the product is terrible.
Star players regularly sit out for rest. Just imagine a family saving up enough money to buy a few Hawks tickets to see the Lakers come to Atlanta only for LeBron James or Anthony Davis not to suit up. Frankly, that’s bullshit.
I understand the longevity argument from players’ prospectives. However, it’s on the NBA to find a solution to improve the regular season product, and an in-season tournament doesn’t seem likely to improve ratings. Sure, it might work this season because it’s new and fans are curious, but I don’t expect it to be like that for future seasons to come.
How the tournament will work is group play into knockout rounds. Eight teams will advance from group play — six group winners and two wild card teams. The quarterfinals will take place at the higher-seeded team’s arena. The semifinals and finals will then take place in Las Vegas for the NBA Cup.
I can’t state enough how trivial the “NBA Cup” sounds, but here is a look at the Hawks’ schedule:
Nov. 14 at Pistons
Nov. 17 vs. 76ers
Nov. 21 vs. Pacers
Nov. 28 at Cavaliers
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire