The NBA has introduced a new In-Season Tournament to add some more excitement to the regular season and to give players the ability to gain some extra money. The rewards consist of $500,000 for each player on the championship team, $200,000 for those who reach the championship game, 100,000 for the teams who reach the semi-final, and $50,000 for the teams who reach the quarterfinals. With $850,000 on the line for each player on the championship team it not only brings in more fans and media coverage, it also gives an incentive to players to compete at the highest level.

The In-Season tournament began With the New Orleans Pelicans taking on the Sacramento Kings, The Boston Celtics taking on the Indiana Pacers, The New York Knicks taking on the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Phoenix Suns Taking on the Los Angelas Lakers.

To kick things off, the Pelicans defeated the Kings 127-117 and the Pacers defeated the Celtics 122-112. The Tournament had an exciting start as both games resulted in an upset. Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans to victory as he exploded for 30 points 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Herbert Jones was also not far off with 23 points 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and 11 rebounds and CJ McCollum had 17 points and 7 assists. The kings fell short but they were highlighted by 30 point performance from De’Aaron Fox and a 26 point triple-double from Domantas Sabonis.

An Unbelievable performance from Tyrese Halliburton led the Pacers to victory. Halliburton had a 26-10-13 triple-double with 0 turnovers. Although Halliburton led the team, the Pacers had 7 different players with over ten points. The Celtics played hard, highlighted by two 30 point performances from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but they were unable to come away with the victory.

On December 5th the other two quarterfinal games kicked off. The Bucks defeated the Knicks 146-122 and the Lakers defeated the Suns 106-103. The Bucks were highlighted by Damien Lillard’s 28 point and 7 assist performance and Giannis Antetokounmpo who had a 35-8-10 line with 3 steals to go along with it. Their were also four other bucks players who finished in double figures. The Knicks were highlighted by an incredibly efficient 41 point performance while shooting 14/19 from the field. Jalen Brunson also added 24 points while RJ Barrett had 23 points.

The Lakers win was led by a 31-8-11 performance from LeBron James, who also added 5 steals and a 27 point 15 rebound performance from Anthony Davis. Austin Reaves also got involved with a 20 point performance of his own. The Suns leading scorer was Kevin Durant who was followed by Devin Booker and Grayson Allen both putting up 21 points of their own. Unfortunately for the Suns, they came up short in a thrilling victory for the Lakers.

With the Semifinals set to take off on December 7th we have two incredible matchups to look forward to. The Bucks take on the red hot Pacers and the Pelicans take on the lakers. Both games are predicted to be close and the Pacers vs Bucks game is set at the highest Over/Under on total points of all time at 256.5.

The In-Season tournament has been a thrill to watch so far and it’s proving to be a great idea for the NBA. The viewership is constantly increasing from last year, and The games truly feel like a playoff atmosphere because of the packed out stadiums and players competing at their highest levels. The Media has been all over the tournament, consistently keeping the fans engaged. There might have never been this much excitement with the NBA regular season in the history of the sport. Im excited to see the outcome of the tournament, and hopefully this tournament becomes a yearly tradition.