Pelicans Set to Open Inaugural In-Season Tournament Play at Houston on Nov. 10

Tuesday afternoon the National Basketball Association announced the schedule for the new annual midseason competition that will feature all 30 NBA teams and will debut during the upcoming 2023-24 season.

The In-Season Tournament, which consists of two stages, tips off Group Play on Friday, Nov. 3. The Semifinals and Championship will be held on Thursday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Earlier in the offseason, each team was part of a random draw into groups of five within their conference. The groupings were based on win-loss records from last season. Each team will play four Group Play games, with two at home and two on the road. Games will be played on “Tournament Nights” each Tuesday and Friday from Nov. 3-28. The league announced that the only NBA games played on Tournament Nights will be Group Play games.

There will be no games played on Tuesday, Nov. 7, on Election Day.

Pelicans Assigned to Group B

The New Orleans Pelicans did not get an easy draw, considering their ninth place finish in the Western Conference standings following the 2022-23 season. New Orleans will compete in West Group B, with games against the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets at the Smoothie King Center, and road contests versus the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.

DateDayOpponentLocationTime (CT)
Nov. Houston RocketsToyota Center 7:00 PM
Nov. 14Tue.vs. Dallas MavericksSmoothie King Center7:00 PM
Nov. 17Fri.vs. Denver NuggetsSmoothie King Center7:00 PM
Nov. L.A. Arena9:30 PM
New Orleans Pelicans In-Season Tournament Schedule – West Group B

Last season the Pelicans fared very well against that quartet, going a combined 10-5 (.667). New Orleans split its season series with Dallas and Denver, took three of four against the Rockets, and swept all three matchups with the Clippers.

Willie Green will have to get his squad prepared to face some of the most dynamic duos in the NBA, with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving (DAL), Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray (DEN), Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (LAC) all on the schedule. The young Rockets have added some recognizable veterans in Fred VanVleet, Dillon Brooks, and Jeff Green, as they try to reach respectability.

Tournament Format

Following Group Play, eight teams will advance to the Knockout Rounds. The field will be made up of the teams with the best standing in each of the six groups and two wild cards (one team from each conference with the best record among second place finishers).

The Knockout Rounds will consist of the Quarterfinals (Dec. 4-5) followed by the Semifinals and Championship. The Knockout teams are competing for a prize pool and the league’s new In-Season Tournament trophy, the NBA Cup.

The 22 teams that do not reach the Quarterfinals will have two regular season games (one home/one away) scheduled to be played on Wednesday, Dec. 6 and Friday, Dec. 8.


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