After the Sacramento Kings’ nail-biting win over the Golden State Warriors, the NBA In-Season Tournament quarter-finals are set. Joining the Kings in the knockout stage are the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Pelicans, Milwaukee Bucks and LA Lakers. The winners of the next phase will proceed to the semi-finals. After initial resistance, the teams and the fans have come to relish the high-stakes games even if it’s November and December.
On Dec. 4, the Boston Celtics will travel to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers and open the quarter-final stage. A few hours later, the New Orleans Pelicans will visit Golden 1 Center to battle the Sacramento Kings.
On Dec. 5, the second set of quarter-final matches will unfold. The New York Knicks will be at Fiserv Forum to try and beat the Milwaukee Bucks. A mouthwatering matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the LA Lakers will soon follow.
The Bucks, Pacers and Celtics punched their tickets to the knockout round by topping their respective brackets in the East. New York barged in as the Wild Card team over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Lakers, Pelicans and Kings also grabbed the quarter-final slots of the NBA In-Season Tournament by winning their respective West brackets. Phoenix joined them as the Wild Card team over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Some of the favorites to win the NBA In-Season Tournament were knocked out in the group stage
The Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors were two of the early favorites to enter the quarter-final stage of the NBA In-Season Tournament. Denver still has two-time MVP Nikola Jokic but Jamal Murray’s absence due to a hamstring injury clearly affected them.
The Warriors might have won West Group C if not for the Sacramento Kings’ incredible come-from-behind win to eliminate the Dubs. Malik Monk’s go-ahead basket with 7.4 seconds left in the game pushed the Kings to the next round.
Still, most will be excited for the next part of the tournament. LeBron James and the LA Lakers are still around. Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics looked dead serious in winning the tournament. A healthy Phoenix Suns will be a problem.
Basketball fans can’t wait for the knockout round to start.