Click here to watch Richard Jefferson's explanation of the In-Season Tournament.
Tonight on YES
In-Season Tournament Group Play - Nets at Bulls: Coverage on YES and the YES App begins at 7:30.
The In-Season Tournament Begins!
Brooklyn’s game in Chicago this evening will be the first for both teams in the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament, which will end with one club winning the new NBA Cup! Starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Nets will have four designated Group Play games on “Tournament Nights,” one game against each opponent in their group, with two at home and two on the road. The Nets are in Eastern Conference Group C along with the Bulls, Celtics, Magic and Raptors. Eight teams around the association will advance to the Knockout Rounds featuring single-elimination games.
Maybe we should call them the Brooklyn Burners because the Nets have been running past their competition! Jacque Vaughn’s club leads the NBA with an average of 24.0 fastbreak PPG during this young season, and by logging at least 20 in all four games they’ve played, the Nets have matched their longest streak since late in the 2002-03 campaign, which saw the team win its second of back-to-back Eastern Conference championships. Mikal Bridges is averaging 20.8 PPG on 50.0 percent shooting from the field, and on Wednesday he scored nine points in the final 3:22 to help finish a comeback win at Miami after Brooklyn trailed by as many as 16 points. Lonnie Walker IV, Armoni Brooks, and Trendon Watford stepped up while several key Nets were out of action, combining for 45 points off the bench as Brooks and Watford made their team debuts. Ben Simmons grabbed 11 rebounds against the Heat, becoming the first Net since the late 1990s to have at least ten boards in each of the team’s first four games of a season. Over that same four-game span, Simmons has also become just the 13th NBA player dating back to the start of the 1982-83 campaign to log at least 40 rebounds and 30 assists, joining a group that includes Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and Kobe Bryant along with a couple of superstars Simmons and the Nets will see next week in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook. A win for Brooklyn tonight would give the team its first three-game winning streak of the year.
At 2-3, Chicago has alternated losses and wins through its first five games, with an average margin of defeat at 15 points. The owners of eight career All-Star nods between them, top scorers Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan have combined to average 45.8 PPG. On Wednesday at the Mavericks, Nikola Vucevic became the first player in the NBA this season to have a game of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, the eighth 20-20 game for the big man in 13 NBA seasons. Billy Donovan’s team continues to play without Lonzo Ball, who missed all of last year and is expected to miss the entire 2023-24 campaign after having cartilage transplant surgery on his left knee in March, his third operation on that knee since January of 2022.
Mark Your Calendars
If you’re the type who likes to plan ahead, make sure your decks are clear for the rest of the Group Play matchups Brooklyn will have during the In-Season Tournament after tonight’s clash in the Windy City! All of them will be carried by YES and the YES App, so stay with us to watch action unfold over three more exciting games:
Friday, Nov. 10 at Celtics: Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 14 vs Magic: Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 28 vs Raptors: Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.