Knicks Split Record in NBA’s Inaugural In-Season TournamentNovember 19, 2023
Knicks 1-1 in In-Season Tournament
The New York Knicks departed the teal and gray basketball court in Washington D.C.’s Capital One Arena with an even record of 1-1 in the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament.
Remaining NBA Tournament Games
The Knicks still have two more tournament group stage games to play to determine their qualification status for the knockout rounds in Las Vegas. This phase of the tournament is set to start at the T-Mobile Arena in the first week of December, home to the National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights.
Current NBA Tournament Standings
The Knicks are in Eastern Conference Group B, competing against the Milwaukee Bucks, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets, and the Wizards. Score-wise, the Bucks and Heat are at the top of Group B, both holding a 2-0 record. In their first tournament loss, the Knicks faced off against the Milwaukee Bucks, who managed to clinch a five-point lead by taking advantage of late-game heroics by Damian Lillard.
The Charlotte Hornets are 1-2 in group play, while the Washington Wizards have yet to win a game, sitting at a record of 0-3.
Upcoming Knicks Game and New Court Debut
The Knicks are set to play the Miami Heat in their next group stage game following Thanksgiving. The team will debut a brightly-colored orange court design with a deep blue streak down the middle. While some may find it challenging to track a basketball on this court, the players believe that the orange color will not impact gameplay and that the ball itself looks more brown than orange.
Player Reactions to the Tournament
The players are notably enthusiastic about the In-Season Tournament games and appreciate the heightened level of competition as compared to a regular-season game.
Potential Tournament Benefits
There’s a notion that teams may benefit from failing to qualify for the Las Vegas knockout round. Only eight of the NBA’s 30 teams will compete in Las Vegas for the championship. There’s also a unique qualification process, including head-to-head records and the margin of victory, setting it apart from international play on the FIBA World Cup stage.
Knicks Coach Reactions
Head coach Tom Thibodeau expressed a focus on winning and playing the right way. Though he acknowledged the increased fan interest in the new tournament format, he emphasized the importance of every game counting the same and stressed that the team needs to lock into that frame of mind, disregarding distractions.