Al Horford, Boston Celtics, NBA
Via @celtics on X/Twitter - Nov. 27 vs Atlanta Hawks Via @celtics on X/Twitter - Nov. 27 vs Atlanta Hawks

The NBA's first In-Season Tournament finished culminated its Group Play stage this week, with only four teams from each conference advancing to the Knockout Rounds. The Semifinals will take place on December 7 while the Championship game will be played on December 9. Both the Semifinals and Championship games will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Which teams advanced?

The NBA explained that each of the six group leaders and two "wild cards" will have a go at the In-Season Tournament crown (teams from each conference with the best record in Group Play that finished 2nd-place in their group). The Knockout Rounds will be single-elimination games and the teams with the best Group Play record will have home-court advantage for the Quarterfinal round.

Only the teams that advance to the Knockout Rounds will have a chance to compete for the prize pool money announced by NBA's Commissioner Adam Silver. Here's how much each will take home:

  • Players on winning team of Championship: $500,000 each
  • Players on Championship's runner-up: $200,000 each
  • Players on losing team of Semifinals: $100,000 each
  • Players on losing team of Quarterfinals: $50,000 each

As for the awards, the NBA will name the Most Valuable Player of the competition as well as the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the Championship game. Selection will be based on the players' performance in both Group Play and Knockout Rounds.

How does it impact the NBA Regular season?

In-Season Tournament games will count towards regular season standings, except for the Championship game. Each team will still play a total of 82 regular-season games this season, including games that are part of the Group Play and Knockout Rounds. Games played in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals will also count as regular season games. The four teams that lose in the Quarterfinals will each play a regular season game on Friday, Dec. 8, against the opponent in their same conference.

NBA In-Season Tournament Bracket
NBA In-Season Tournament Bracket Via @NBAPR on X/Twitter

Who qualified?

Western Conference:

#1 Seed Los Angeles Lakers
#2 Seed Sacramento Kings
#3 Seed New Orleans Pelicans
#4 Seed Phoenix Suns

Eastern Conference
#1 Seed Milwaukee Bucks
#2 Seed Indiana Pacers
#3 Seed Boston Celtics
#4 Seed New York Knicks

Are Any Latino NBA Players Involved in the In-Season Tournament Knockout Rounds?

Yes, there will be two players of Latino-descent competing for the first-ever NBA Cup trophy. Chris Duarte (Kings) and Al Horford (Celtics) will play Pelicans and Pacers, respectively, in their Quarterfinal matchup. Here's a brief bio of each:

Chris Duarte - Sacramento Kings (Dominican descent)

- Played in all 4 Group Play games, averaging almost 14 minutes per game. Even though his offensive contribution has not been significant (ranks last in PPG among Kings players with 2.8), his effort on the defensive side of the game has been noticed.

- He ranks 2nd among Kings players with 1.5 steals per game, with only Keegan Murray (2.0 in 39 MPG) having a better ratio.

Al Horford - Boston Celtics (Dominican descent)

- Horford has been one of the five players with the most playing time for the Boston Celtics this season. His 28 minutes per game in Group Play rank better than newly-acquired star Kristaps Porzingis. He averaged 10 PPG, 6 RPG and 3.7 APG in 3 games played during the Group Stage.

- Horford helped the Celtics clinch their spot in the Knockout Stages with another terrific night from 3-point range, adding 16 points and only missing two of his shots (6-8 FG, 4-6 3P).

- He was a clever shooter from beyond the arc during those 3 games. His 53% shooting percentage from 3-point range ranked as the best for the Celtics.

- Among players 37 years and older, only LeBron James (58% 3P) had a better shooting percentage from deep than Horford during Group Play.

- Last season, only Luke Kennard (49.4%) had a better efficiency from 3-point range than Al Horford (44.6%) among all NBA players.

The NBA released special In-Season Tournament courts for each of the participating teams. Here's a look at them

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