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Detroit Pistons schedule for in-season tournament unveiled

First in-season NBA tournament begins for Detroit Nov. 10 vs. Sixers

2023 NBA Summer League - Detroit Pistons v Houston Rockets Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NBA released the first in-season tournament schedule on Tuesday, and that means we know the Detroit Pisotns’ regional opponents and when the games will happen, even if we don’t really have a solid handle on how all of this is going to play out or whether it will be rewarding for fans.

Let’s cover what we definitely do know. The Pistons will play four in-season tournament games, and their opponents will be the Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers. Each conference had three group drawing with strength of opponent factored into possible matchups in an attempt to even out the odds.

Detroit is officially part of East A, and the group play games will occur on Nov. 10 (Sixers), Nov. 14 (Hawks), Nov. 17 ( at the Cavs), and Nov. 24 (at the Pacers).

Across the NBA, November games on Tuesdays and Thursdays are being deemed tournament games so fans will know which games to “care” about even if they have no larger importance than any other game on the final season standings.

If the Pistons emerge as a top eight team among the conferences, they will play knockout tournament games in December. Those games will occur on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, with semi-finals on Dec. 7 and a championship game on Dec. 9 in Las Vegas.

If Detroit doesn’t make the knockout round, it will be assigned games against fellow tourney “losers” on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8.

Why would anyone care? Remains to be seen. The goal is to give fans something to root for after the shine of the new season wears off and before the signature Christmas Day games and the beginning of the end of the NFL season.

Why would the players care? Pride? Nahh. Money? Maybe? The prize pool includes extra dollars for each player on a team that enters knockout round play, $50,000 per player for quarter-final losers, $100,000 each for semi-final losers, the losing squad in the championship round getting $200,000 apiece and the champions netting $500,000 each.

So the questions remaining are as follows:

Do you understand any of this convoluted scheduling and scoring system?

Do you care?