Why is the NBA playing a day game on Thursday?
A In-Season Tournament semifinals game tips off at 2 pm locally. You can thank the NFL.
For all of its success in its debut (I’m a fan), the In-Season Tournament has confused many folks in NBA circles.
One big question: Why in the world is the semifinals matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks tipping off at 5 pm ET?
Remember, the game is in Las Vegas, so that’s 2 pm local time. Expecting bleary-eyed NBA fans in Sin City to attend a matinee marquee event is asking a lot. Why would the NBA risk the optics of a half-empty arena (and half of America still at work) for its In-Season Tournament?
I don’t think it’s because they need extra time to clear the court for Game 2, Lakers-Pelicans scheduled at 9 pm ET. That’s four hours. College hoops usually allots 2 hours and 30 minutes between its same-venue double-headers.
Here’s my data-driven theory: