. Eight teams have advanced to the quarterfinals, which will take place on Dec. 4 and 5. The winners will move on to the semifinals, which are set for Dec. 7 in Las Vegas, to be followed by the championship on Dec. 9.
On the Eastern Conference side of the bracket, the Milwaukee Bucks will face the New York Knicks, while Indiana Pacers will host the Boston Celtics. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers will take on the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings will meet the New Orleans Pelicans on the Western Conference side.
So what will the rest of the league do while those teams are battling it out for the first ever NBA Cup and a $500,000 prize per player? Good question. When the league announced the schedule each team only had 80 games locked in because every IST game besides the final counts as a regular-season game. Thus, teams that get to the semifinals will have their schedule fulfilled with those games. Everyone else, however, needed an additional two games added to the calendar.
With the conclusion of the group stage, those games have now been finalized. Here's a look at the updated schedule for the 22 teams that have been eliminated from the IST.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
All times Eastern. Games on League Pass and local TV unless other wise noted. All games on ESPN are streaming on Fubo (try for free).
- Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m.
- Memphis Grizzlies at Detroit Pistons, 7 p.m.
- Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.
- Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.
- Brooklyn Nets at Atlanta Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
- San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves, 7:30 p.m. -- ESPN
- Charlotte Hornets at Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m.
- Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m.
- Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.
- Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m.
- Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. -- ESPN
Friday, Dec. 8
All times Eastern. Games on League Pass and local TV unless other wise noted. The four teams that lose in the quarterfinals will have a game added on this date.
- Toronto Raptors at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m.
- Detroit Pistons at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m.
- Atlanta Hawks at Philadelphia 76ers, 7 p.m.
- Washington Wizards at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m.
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat, 8 p.m.
- Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m.
- Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m.
- Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m.
- Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m.
- Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz, 10 p.m. -- ESPN
- Dallas Mavericks at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
Here's the NBA's explanation from this summer on how these matchups would be determined:
A formulaic approach will determine the matchups for these games using the Group Play standings in each conference (5th-15th).
Two of the 22 games will be scheduled cross-conference since there will be an odd number of teams in each conference that do not advance to the Quarterfinals. These cross-conference games will be scheduled between bottom-finishing teams in the Group Play stage subject to travel constraints, and no team will play more than one of its two games cross-conference.
The other 20 games will be scheduled within conference featuring teams that are otherwise scheduled to play each other three times over the course of the season wherever possible.
The big winners from this revamped schedule are the Timberwolves, who have been fed an extra game against both the Spurs and the Grizzlies -- two of the league's worst teams. They should win both of those games, which will help them solidify their surprise lead atop the Western Conference. Plus, they don't have to make a potential trip to Las Vegas, which would be a long haul from the Midwest. The players may have enjoyed a chance to compete for an extra $500,000, but missing out on the knockout rounds was an overall net positive for the Timberwolves.
On the other hand, the biggest losers are the Cleveland Cavaliers. This has already been a somewhat disappointing start to the season, and now they have to play extra games against the upstart Orlando Magic and the always-difficult Miami Heat. They've already been crushed once by the Heat this season, while the Magic's frontcourt and defense figures to provide a tough matchup. Furthermore, both the Magic and Heat play extremely hard, which makes for exhausting nights.