Tonight officially began the NBA In-Season Tournament, the mid-season tournament that in some ways resembles our Italian Cup Final Eight. Perhaps it resembles more than you might imagine. In fact, in 2019 the New York Time headlined, “Forget the All-Star Game. Start watching Italian basketball.”
In that article, which you can read again HERE, the American journalist wrote. ‘If there is too much money to be made in the NBA to consider shortening the regular season, the idea of looking at what the Italians are doing should be tempting’. And let’s say they more or less did that, not by taking away the All-Star Game but by adding a competition. Eventually there will be a Final Eight in American sauce, after the first six qualifying rounds. The first-place finishers in each round plus the two best second-place finishers will clash in knockout competitions made up of Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals. Similar to the F8 Italian Cup.
In fact in this way the matches become more eventful because it is still a tournament that awards a trophy and the knockout competitions will be even more so. Also, the NBA In-Season Tournament, somewhat like the Final Eight of the Italian Cup, could give a chance to win a cup even to lineups that could hardly win a title, somewhat as happened to Cremona in 2019 – when the New York Times wrote that article – or this year with Brescia. Who knows, maybe Simone Fontecchio’s Utah Jazz or Danilo Gallinari’s Washington Wizards, who clearly cannot win the NBA and perhaps not even make the playoffs, could bet big on this new competition.