The Play-In Tournament could help the Hawks in the In-Season Tournament

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /

As the Atlanta Hawks gear up for the 2023-2024 season, a new tournament coming to the NBA! Like it or not, the NBA in-season tournament is here, and the Hawks will be aiming for a title. While the teams may not be competing for the Larry O’Brien trophy in December, it offers more meaningful and competitive basketball during the long, exhausting regular season.

Beginning on November 3, all NBA teams will have a chance to compete in the NBA Cup. Each team is assigned to a group (Hawks are in East Group A) and will compete until November 24 when group play ends.

The top two teams from the group will move on to the quarterfinals which become the knockout stage. From there on, every game in the tournament is single elimination. The winners of the quarterfinals matchup will move on to the Semifinals which are hosted on a neutral site in Las Vegas, Nevada (along with the Finals).

With that being said, how do the Hawks gain an advantage in the in-season tournament?

Play-in Tournament experience could prove to be an advantage for the Hawks

For the past two seasons, the Hawks have had to fight in the play-in tournament and its one-and-done style could provide an advantage. The NBA in-season tournament is set up to give more teams a fighting chance to win. A one-and-done style tournament means anyone can win on any given day. With Atlanta having experience in this setting, it should give them an edge over teams who haven’t competed in the play-in tournament. Of all the teams in the Hawks’ group, the Cavaliers are the only other team with play-in tournament experience.

Atlanta landed in East Group A which includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons!

Here’s how the Hawks’ schedule looks for the In-Season Tournament:

64. . 0. 0. 7 PM ET. 125. Bally Sports/NBA League Pass. Tuesday, Nov 14

93. 125. . 7:30 PM ET. 0. Bally Sports/NBA League Pass. Friday, Nov 17. 0

7:30 PM ET. Bally Sports/NBA League Pass. 0. . 125. 0. 100. Tuesday, Nov 21

Bally Sports/NBA League Pass. Tuesday, Nov 28. 156. 7:30 PM ET. 0. 125. 0.

The schedule and pool were largely based on last season’s record and the Hawks got a fair pool to play in. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say they could win the pool as they have the talent and coaching to compete and win. The Trae Young-led Hawks’ experience in the one-and-done style play-in tournament could also give them an advantage in the tournament and should give them a “leg up” on the competition.

Furthermore, this tournament could also get Atlanta ready for the real postseason during the summer.

That said, anything can happen, and a one-off night could derail the Hawks’ chances of winning.

More than anything, this tournament should not only give more meaning to the regular season but offer more competitive games. Along with that, young players on the roster get an opportunity to play meaningful basketball which could help their development.

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Overall, the in-season tournament has garnered mixed reviews from fans and players, but it should be interesting to see how it plays out.