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Kristaps Porzingis understands that some people are skeptical about the NBA’s new season tournament, scheduled for this weekend.
The concept has been used in other sports leagues, but is new to the NBA.
Porzingis says he is in favor of the idea. He explained why during training on Thursday.
“I love it. In Europe we always have some kind of tournament in the preseason or during the year,” said Porzingis. “Growing up, I always liked those kinds of tournaments. It just put more of a spotlight on something that is midseason and those kind of things.
The tournament is divided into six groups: East A, East B, East C, West A, West B and West C.
The Celtics are in East C along with the Nets, Raptors, Bulls and Magic.
The tournament starts with group play, which takes place on Tuesday and Friday evenings from November 3 to 28. Group play matches also count as regular season matches.
A team’s record in group play will decide whether it qualifies for the knockout rounds.
Eight teams advance from group play to the quarter-finals (December 4-5). A win in the quarterfinals would put a team in the semifinals (December 7). A championship match will be played in Las Vegas on December 9.
The quarterfinals and semifinals games count as regular season games, but the championship game does not.
There is a seasonal tournament prize pool that is awarded to players based on how far their team makes it. A tournament MVP and an All-Tournament team will be named. The winning team will claim the NBA Cup and $500,000 per player prize money.
The Celtics begin group play against Brooklyn at TD Garden on November 10.
“It’s been presented very well here in the NBA and we’ll see what happens,” Porzingis said. “But I think it will be a great success. Although I know a lot of people are a bit sceptical, it will be a huge success and I’m looking forward to hopefully winning it.”
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