The National Basketball Association is trying something new for the 2023 season, and the excitement is starting to build. The NBA Cup will take place this season for the first time ever.
The final game of the NBA Cup will be played on December 9th and aired on ESPN. But what is the NBA Cup, and how is it done? That’s what we are here to discuss.
Odds to win NBA Cup
First of all – the Phoenix Suns have the fourth-best odds in all of the National Basketball Association to win the NBA Cup. The Suns come into the season with odds at +1100.
That’s behind the Celtics (+700), Nuggets (+950), and Bucks (+1000) but ahead of the Warriors (+1200), Lakers (+1300), Cavaliers (+1300), and 76ers (+1400).
That varies a little from the Odds to win the NBA Finals. The Suns there are third, ahead of the Bucks but behind the Nuggets and Celtics. Phoenix has +650 odds to win the 2023-2024 NBA Finals.
Group D for the Suns
Back to the NBA Cup. The Phoenix Suns are going to be part of Group D. Just think of international soccer when thinking of groups. This is their “division,” per say.
They will play in the same group as the Grizzlies, Lakers, Jazz, and Trail Blazers. The Suns will start the NBA Cup on Friday, November 10th, at home against the Los Angeles Lakers. Their second game will be Friday, November 17th, this time at the Utah Jazz.
Game three will be at home against the Portland Trail Blazers – Tuesday, November 21st, while they will finish their NBA Cup schedule on Friday, November 24th, against the Memphis Grizzlies.
There are 6 NBA Cup groups, and each group winner will head to the postseason. Two others will make it; this is one from each of the Eastern and Western Conferences. Those eight teams will then play in a tournament bracket style. From there, they will play out until there is a winner crowned on December 9th.
Still Playing 82 Games
Those teams that did not make the tournament will then have two games, which will be their 81st and 82nd regular season games of the season on the schedule.
Those will be assigned by the league. The teams that lose in the first round of tournament play will get one more game added to their schedule from those four teams that lost.
If you lose in the final four, you do not have any extra games. Those two teams in the NBA Cup Finals will play 83 games, with the final game NOT considered in the NBA standings.
These NBA Cup games DO count towards your 2023-2024 NBA Standings. The winning team of the NBA Cup will get $500,000, while second place will get $200,000. If teams lose in the semifinals, players receive $100,000, and if teams make the quarterfinals and lose, players get $50,000.
The NBA Cup will name a Most Valuable Player for the tournament, as well as an all-tournament team. None of the NBA Cup tournament games make any difference for the NBA normal playoffs that will take place in the spring.
Finals Thoughts on NBA Cup
Why not, right? The NBA regular season could obviously use some spicing up. May as well give it a try.
As far as the Phoenix Suns are concerned, this is a great opportunity to find a way to win seven games and be the champion of the first-ever NBA Cup. The Suns are going to be as lethal as it gets, and it’s not a series; it is several one-game playoffs.
With the addition of Bradley Beal in the off-season, the Suns expect to start Beal, Devin Booker, and Kevin Durant, along with Josh Okogie and Deandre Ayton. The bench could be the downfall, but teams are going to have a tough time keeping up with the first five and their ability to score.
Saben Lee, Eric Gordon, Keita Bates-Diop will need to provide quality minutes. If they do, betting the Suns at +1100 certainly does not look like a bad idea. Especially needing no more than seven wins.