The NBA’s introduction of an in-season tournament has brought a significant change to the league’s traditional format. Instead of solely aiming for a playoff spot, teams now have the opportunity to compete in a new tournament. Some teams have faced criticism for pushing hard to secure leads in these tournament games, but Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker has a different perspective.
Booker expressed his support for the tournament format, stating, “I’ve seen teams upset about it, and I don’t know why. I’ve seen players upset about it, and I don’t know why. Honestly, I wish every game was like that. I like playing hard in every game until the end.”
In contrast to the usual practice of resting starters and winding down games with a significant lead, the tournament encourages intense competition throughout. As the tournament progresses, eight teams remain in contention: the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, and New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference, and the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference.
The tournament’s quarterfinals mark the current stage, with the semifinals and final set to take place in Las Vegas. The tournament promises a fresh and exciting addition to the NBA season, challenging teams to approach games with a different mindset.