Tag Archives: NBA

A New Chapter in the NBA

By Ryan McKinney

On Nov. 3, the National Basketball Association (NBA) introduced a new era of excitement with a highly anticipated in-season tournament, offering a fresh twist to the traditional basketball calendar. This groundbreaking addition aims to enhance fan engagement, bring new dynamics to the regular season, and add a unique sense to the sport that has captured the hearts of millions.

Tournament Format

The NBA in-season tournament will feature all 30 teams competing for glory in an exciting “World Cup” style format. All 67 games of the “In-Season Tournament” (yes, that’s its actual name) will count toward the regular-season standings except the tournament championship. The tournament will take place between the beginning of November and the middle of December, providing a mid-season spectacle for fans to savor. All teams have been randomly drawn into groups of five within their conference based on won-loss records from the 2022-23 regular season. Games taking place from Nov. 3 continuing until Tuesday, Nov. 28 will be listed as “Group Play” games on specific tournament nights. Eight teams will advance to the “Knockout Rounds”, meaning the team with the best record in group play games in each of the six groups with an addition of two “wild cards”. The knockout rounds will be single-elimination games in the quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship taking place in early December. The qualifying teams will compete for a prize pool and the new In-Season Tournament trophy, the NBA Cup.


For the 2023-24 season, the new tournament brings a prize pool that is allocated to the players and teams that participate in the knockout rounds and accolade for those that make a potential deep run. At the conclusion, the NBA will name the most valuable player of the competition and the All-Tournament Team. Selection will be based on the players’ performance in both group play and the knockout rounds.

The introduction of the in-season tournament promises to inject an extra layer of competition into the regular season. Teams will not only compete for the usual division and conference standings but also for the glory and rewards associated with the tournament. This added incentive will lead to intense competition and memorable moments throughout the season, making every game count. Along with the tournament the league is also designing new courts for all teams correlating to its yearly city-edition jerseys.

Playoff Predictions

As the regular season progresses and the tournament’s structure takes shape, experts and fans are making their predictions for the upcoming playoffs. Here’s a glimpse of my early forecasts for the NBA playoff top seeding:

Eastern Conference

  1. Boston Celtics: The Boston Celtics is my favorite to win the east due to their dual threat in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Their scoring ability always gives them a chance to take them far.
  2. Milwaukee Bucks: The Milwaukee Bucks are expected to continue their strong performances into this upcoming season. Giannis Antetokounmpo’s unmatched skills, along with the new addition of Damian Lillard, will keep them in the title contention for the next few years.
  3. Miami Heat: The Miami Heat have struggled early on this season, but always pick up momentum after the All- Star break. With Jimmy Butler leading the way, they are poised to have yet another playoff run and might just be the dark horse of the tournament like previous years.
  4. Atlanta Hawks: The Atlanta Hawks contain a lot of firepower behind a Top 3 backcourt in guards Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Young’s playmaking abilities and the team’s young talent make them a potential contender for this year finals.  

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles Lakers: The Los Angeles Lakers, with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, are perennial contenders. They are predicted to secure the top seed in the Western Conference and will be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament and the playoffs.
  2. Denver Nuggets: The Denver Nuggets, led by the two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, can always be seen as a threat as they are the reigning champions. Their success does depend on Jokic’s brilliance and the support of their role players.
  3. Golden State Warriors: The Warriors, led by veteran Stephen Curry, are always seen as a force in the postseason due to their clutch attributes as a team. They have the potential to surprise everyone and make a deep playoff run.
  4. Los Angeles Clippers: The Los Angeles Clippers seek to have a successful season with the addition of guard James Harden. This forms a starting roster filled with pure talent including scorers like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

This sums up my predictions for the top playoff seeds in the East and West. With the inaugural NBA in-season tournament fans can’t wait to see how this new format adds excitement to an already thrilling sport.  

Just Because: NBA Preview

By Ryan McKinney

As the beginning of the new season kicks off, we look to see which team will come out on top as there are many big contenders. Starting in the Eastern Conference, many teams have a real shot at winning the title including the Celtics, Bucks, Cavaliers, and the Heat.   

The Boston Celtics seek to come out hot like the team finished last season. They have many stars including young forward Jayson Tatum. Through the first three games, Tatum averaged 34.3 points per game and killing it so far for the Celtics this year. While doing so Tatum says, “I’m feeling better than ever and I’m having a blast too.” 

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to bounce back from their semifinal playoff exit last season. The Bucks are led by the Greek freak Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo uses his strength to score almost all his points in the paint. He is a driving force in the Bucks success, and they will need him to stay out of injury trouble if they want a shot at the title this year. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers received a new addition to their team that has already shined in their surprising 7-1 start to the season. Their new addition is guard Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz as he already has a forty-point game on the stat sheet during an overtime thriller against the Celtics. The Cavaliers have been cruising so far but let see if they can keep it up with their tough schedule ahead of them. 

Lastly for the Eastern Conference is the Miami Heat as they’ve had a rough start to the season. So far, they’re 4-6 through their first 10 games, and it is mainly due to their lack of toughness on the defensive end of the court. Although this may be true, Coach Eric Spoelstra always has a plan to fix the issues and with so many offensive weapons it’s safe to say they’re contender in the East. 

Moving on to the loaded Western Conference, many teams have a shot at the title. The teams include the Trailblazers, Suns, Warriors, Jazz, and Timberwolves. Surprisingly, Lebron James and the Lakers have started the season slow. Many of the Western title favorites are filled with new recruits and pickups that have brought them success so far this season. 

Through the first few games, the team that started in first but has slid to fourth are the Portland Trailblazers. The Trailblazers are led by Damian Lillard and recruit Jerami Grant. The roster is also very deep with many young threats that has the potential to make a championship dynasty. The future for this team is bright and I can’t wait to see what kind of success they’ll have this season. 

The next finals favorite in the West are the Golden State Warriors coming off their historical run last year. The Warriors are led by guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. With the two of the main players healthy, the team’s offensive flow goes way better along with a much better three-point percentage. Along with them, the team contains young stars like Jordan Poole and emerging stars like Andrew Wiggins. So far, the Warriors are on a rough start due to the squad “lacking purpose” says head coach Steve Kerr. Overall, I think the Warriors have the best chance to win the title this year due to their long winning streaks and extremely deep roster. 

Another strong contender in the West is the Phoenix Suns because of the dynamic duo on the squad. This duo consists of guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker as they both are dying for a finals visit again. Two years ago, they lost to the Bucks in six games in which Antetokounmpo had numerous 50-piece games. Besides the point, the Suns have a real chance at the title this year as many players seek revenge and look to do better than last years playoff run.

Moving on, the Minnesota Timberwolves have thrived with their new strategy. After trading for Rudy Gobert in the offseason the Timberwolves now have the two best centers in basketball on the same team. Karl Anthony Towns has struggled a little bit with defensive shifts, but he’ll pick that up and the team is still succeeding otherwise. Overall, the Timberwolves could be the team that shocks fans this year and take the trophy.

Lastly, the Utah Jazz have surprised everybody so far this year despite losing their two best players in the offseason. They received young star Collin Sexton from the Cavaliers who is shining this year now that he gets his own spotlight. Sexton is the main reason the Jazz are currently second place in the West right now, so let see if the team can keep it up. 

Overall, there are many teams that have a chance to win the title this year, but my prediction is that the Golden State Warriors will beat the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. Then the Boston Celtics will beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals creating a rematch. In this finals series, I have the Boston Celtics gaining revenge and beating the Warriors in a tight seven game series.