Saturday night featured a smattering of entertaining games around the NBA, including the Lakers narrowly defeating the Rockets to continue warding off the .500 threshold, the Pacers and Heat combining for 273 points in an Indy win, and the Kings asserting their arrival with a win over the Nuggets.
Sure, the viewership may have been lower with much of the sports-viewing American public turning toward championship games in college football, but those who tuned into the NBA action on Saturday, Dec. 2 were rewarded handsomely. Sure to want more, they'll be disappointed looking at the schedule for Sunday, Dec. 3, a blank slate.
No games today. Why?
NBA schedule tonight: Here's why there are no NBA games on Sunday, Dec. 3
The reasoning for no games on Sunday, Dec. 3 is quite simple: In-Season Tournament. The league debuted an exciting new format this year that involved group play games sprinkled throughout normal regular season games and will culminate in an eight-team bracket that features single-elimination games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week.
Since the league had no idea who would qualify for the tournament and have to travel to Las Vegas for the games, it was easier to give all 30 teams an off day rather than risk an IST team playing its first-round game on the second half of a back-to-back and at a potential disadvantage.
In-Season Tournament bracket and schedule
Here is how the bracket lays out for the In-Season Tournament. The schedule is as follows.
Monday; 7:30 p.m. ET
Monday; 10:00 p.m. ET
Tuesday; 7:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday; 10:00 p.m. ET
Thursday; 5:00 p.m. ET
Thursday; 9:00 p.m. ET
Saturday; 8:30 p.m. ET
Winner of West Semifinal
Winner of East Semifinal
Teams that didn't qualify for the tournament will play games on Wednesday and Friday, off days for the tournament itself. On tournament days, all attention will be solely on the brand-new NBA Cup and the battle toward it.