The excitement in Vegas is palpable as the NBA In-season Tournament heats up, with teams vying for the title of the first champion of this unique event. Tonight’s semifinals doubleheader has drawn significant attention, with the finals set for Saturday night.
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Giannis Antetokounmpo expressed his enthusiasm for the tournament, highlighting the legacy aspect. He humorously commented on the $100,000 prize for reaching the semifinals, saying, “the rich just got richer.” His ambition is clear: to achieve something legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant haven’t â winning both an NBA championship and an in-season tournament. He joked that it would cement his status as the greatest player ever.
The tournament has also sparked a newfound excitement in players like Damian Lillard, who was mainly used to losing all those years in Portland with the Trail Blazers. While stacked with individual accomplishments, Lillard has had a college and NBA career with limited team success and seems legitimately pumped for the competitive spirit and the possibility of winning in this format.
LeBron James also seems keen on being the first to win this tournament despite not openly showing it. The prospect of adding this unique achievement to his already illustrious career is undoubtedly appealing.
The debate among fans and players alike is whether an in-season tournament victory deserves a banner. Some argue that if division titles warrant a banner, so should an in-season tournament win.
The scheduling of the games has raised questions, particularly why the championship game is set for 5 PM Eastern Time. It turns out this timing facilitates the split ticket system for the doubleheader, ensuring smooth transitions between games.
The highlight of the tournament is the Pelicans–Lakers game, getting the primetime viewing spot, indicating the NBA’s focus on this marquee team.
This in-season tournament has certainly brought a fresh buzz to the NBA, challenging teams and players to strive for a new kind of victory and offering fans an exciting, competitive spectacle.
NBA In-Season Tournament Winner Odds at FanDuel Sportsbook
- Milwaukee Bucks +160
- Los Angeles Lakers +230
- New Orleans Pelicans +330
- Indiana Pacers +480