Is the NBA Returning? An Update by Andrew Santangelo (@aj_santangelo)
There continue to be developments in the sports world. After the NHL approved the 24 team playoff format, the NBA is expected to agree upon their proposal with Owners, early Thursday. When the NBA returns, they will be playing all games in Orlando, Florida. The proposal includes bringing back 22 of the teams. The 22 include all teams currently in a playoff spot than any organization that is within six games of a playoff spot. The high powered Western Conference will feature 13 teams while the Eastern Conference will have nine teams. The Wizards will be the East team fighting for that eighth spot, which is currently heled by the Orlando Magic, who are five in a half games up on the Wizards. The West will feature the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Kings, Spurs, and Suns, all chasing down the Grizzlies for that final playoff spot.
The gameplay includes eight regular-season games for these spots to get situated, followed by a potential play-in tournament to determine the playoff field. Early reports suggest that the schedule will continue as planned with the next eight games. If a team is scheduled to play a team, not in Orlando, it moves to the next game, according to Vincent Goodwill, an NBA writer for Yahoo Sports.
Now that the game details are close to being finalized, the NBA will turn its attention to figuring out the safety guidelines for before, during, and after games. Walt Disney World will be hosting the rest of this NBA season as they have offered their arena on the Disney campus, so any social distancing guidelines or quarantine rules will be enforced with the Disney employees as well.
The camps will start opening up at the end of June with the regular season
As more information continues to be released, one question was when will the 2020-2021 season begin if the Finals are rumored to go into mid-October. The answer to that is the next season will start on Christmas Day of 2020 is the current goal if the NBA is to abide by that change.
There are still a lot of things to work out in terms of health issues. The state of Florida is currently seeing an uprise in coronavirus cases, which leaves in question many things. As this, all continue to get worked out, and players now seem to question the return more than ever, it will be essential to keep watch over the next month to see what will happen.
The significant factor that might allow players to go through with it is while there will be no regular fans permitted at these events. The NBA is trying to plan a safe way to allow these players, coaches, and other team members families permitted by the end of August for the start of the playoffs if they choose to attend the games. There will be no fans allowed in sports, but in the postseason family of those who choose will be allowed to participate in these games down the stretch. While some states have claimed they would allow fans to attend games the NBA, doing the right thing is not allowing that to happen in Orlando
As of now, the schedule looks as followed:
July 30-August 14th – Regular Season
August 15-16 Play in tournaments
August 17th: Playoffs Begin
August 30th Family of teams are allowed to arrive
August 31-September 13th: Conference Semifinals
September 15-28th Conference Finals
September 30th– October 13th NBA finals